FPA Today

Time To De-escalate

In today’s political climate, we can no longer hold out hope for long-term, viable solutions to the ever-worsening calamities we face as a nation. The left bellowing“you suck” and the right’s “you suck more” finger-wagging have never really been all that entertaining or convincing; even at times when the foreseeable consequences to the American way-of-life were much less severe.

We all recognize that the language employed on both sides has grown predictable, unpersuasive, uninspiring and perhaps worst of all, tiresome. The so-called ‘solutions’ championed by today’s ruling class are not merely flawed, but intellectually dishonest and driven by an immoral desire to (at minimum) maintain either ‘Team D’ or ‘Team Rs’ powerful grip using laws that greatly impact our daily lives.

The architects of this republic intentionally enumerated a majority of government functions — in particular, the protection of individual liberties — to extend far-beyond Federal concern. And for good reason. A country such as the United States of America — with roughly 320 million human lives, sprawled-out over 3,800,000 sq miles, cannot effectively or efficiently serve the needs of residents living in both Alaska and Hawaii alike. Furthermore, when it comes to social issues, the top-down national policing solutions ultimately prove ill-conceived, unaccountable, less-affordable, and constitutionally pervasive.

An anonymous social media account recently stated the following in a discussion about healthcare, education and welfare: “federal management of these issues is a recipe for conflict, 320 million people can’t agree on much.”

Bingo. But isn’t that precisely what federalism is all about?

It’s time to de-escalate. Long before we start trying to ram a ‘one-size-fits-all solution’ down the throats of an (almost) evenly-divided country, Americans need to first hit the reset button and start building a consensus regarding where these decisions should be made. Let’s start talking now about returning the reigns back to the states, municipalities and communities where the common citizen has the most power to effect change, and where can agree upon as many issues as possible.

This will, in-turn, allow space for a national discussion and afford us the opportunity to re-focus on the specific matters for which the Federal Government was created in the first place — such as common defense, foreign policy, border security, coining national currency and working to safeguard said currency’s value from any form of manipulation.

Surely we’ll still find plenty to scream at each other about on those long-debated, heated issues. Even so, this country’s future instantly becomes much less grim if, collectively, we can re-institute that now-fleeting glimmer of hope for actual solutions and reasonable policy decisions.

Goldman Sachs: U.S. Debt Reaching ‘Unchartered Territory’

No one questions that Goldman Sachs — the bankers everyone loves to hate — knows its math. So when Goldman issued a warning this morning about runaway federal debt entering “uncharted territory,” we should all take time to listen, even if we hate ‘em.  

Doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or Democrat, federal debt is going to eat our children alive. If the U.S. government were honest and appraised itself like private companies do, we’d know that every American household now owes about $670,000 in debt. That’s their share of this growing mess. Check again tomorrow; the number will be higher.

Anyone here think running up unpayable bills on our childrens’ credit cards is a good idea? Anyone?

And yet it continues. God help us.

 

The National Will for Congressional Term Limits is There

Did you know that 36 states already have term limits for governors? Did you also know that an Article V Convention of States can be called if two thirds of the states demand one?

Check the math. It works. Just 34 states are needed to force a national referendum on congressional term limits. The will is already there. Any proposed amendment would then have to be approved by three-fourths of the states — 38 of them — which is less daunting than it sounds when you consider that federal term limits are favored by about three-quarters of Americans, according to the most recent Gallup and Rasmussen polling on the issue.

If you want to get a sense of how popular term limits are, ask anyone running for congress or senate for his or her position on the issue. In state after state, they’re signing term limit pledges.

But will they do anything about it?

The GOP Says It’s for Term Limits. Really?

America’s founders included some of history’s greatest students of human nature. They worked tirelessly to erect enduring restraints on federal power, knowing full well that a centralized government in Washington would grow out of control if left unchecked.

But there was one thing our founders never imagined: The career politician. Once in, he or she will give away anything to remain in power — no matter the cost.

The Republican Party claims to be in favor of term limits. It’s right here in its platform.

But does anyone really expect the GOP to follow through? We don’t.

The key to changing Washington is changing the people we send there. That begins and ends with term limits. Without them, we know what we’re going to get: More of the same.

That we can’t afford. Literally.

A Word for Our Nation’s Leaders: Unacceptable

The drama out of Washington is growing stale.

Americans will know later today whether their federal government will shut down — again. Does anyone else find that more than a little embarrassing?

Kazakhstan, Kiribati, and Djibouti managed to pass on-time budgets this year. But not The United States of America, that shining city on a hill.

Put simply, Washington’s inaction is unacceptable, a word our nation’s leaders forgot. We elect them to perform a single task — pass a budget — and yet year after year they can’t, don’t, or won’t do it. We now live in a land of 30-day “continuing resolutions.”

It’s all very complicated, Republicans and Democrats say.

We’re sure it is. Because they made it that way. When a federal bureaucracy grows to a size so unmanageable — so unstainable — there are simply too many interests at stake to run a effective government. The politics becomes more important than the substance. It becomes, yes, complicated.

We have an idea. Shut the government down — other than “essential services” — and then stop right there. We will have identified exactly what Washington needs to be. Then send whatever money is left over back to the states. They’ll figure out how to meet any unattended needs.

Could there be anything less complicated than that?

Something’s Got to Give

It stinks being a Democrat these days, almost as much as it does being a Republican.

That’s not speculation — it’s Gallup, the respected American polling company that pays constant attention to these type of things.

Just before the New Year, Gallup asked us how we politically self identify. Almost half of us (46%) call ourselves independents. Twenty-seven percent (27%) say we’re Democrats, and just a quarter of us (25%) self identify as Republicans.

If Gallup had asked a follow-up: “How much did it hurt answering that question?” it might have discovered a singularly unifying theme: Americans — left, right, and center — are profoundly dissatisfied with their current options. We feel duped.

When you dig deeper into various polling data you’ll find an even more disconcerting dynamic. Many of us still self-identifying with a major party mostly do so because we hate or fear the other one so much. It’s more about what we’re against than what we’re for.

That feels about right to anyone who’s ever spent 30 minutes on Twitter. We’ve become a nation of Hatfields and McCoys. Results are immaterial; it’s all about the fight. Half the time we can’t remember why we’re feuding.

Meanwhile, the crops go unattended and the bills pile up — while the eyes of the nation stay fixed on the fighting.

It’s the last great sleight of hand of America’s major parties.