There is an old saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin: “In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Fiscal conservatives, I among them, seek to limit the severity of the latter as to enhance the legacy of the former. Lower individual and corporate tax-rates, long the bête noire of the American left, would provide the populace with an engine for growth and a tool for economic recovery. The Obama policies of massive spending and excessive regulation have merely served to inflate the national debt, to weaken the U.S. dollar, and to considerably increase unemployment. If we seek a rebirth of prosperity, tax-cuts, free-trade and spending cuts would be the logical measures to implement. President Obama and Congressional Democrats, however, are incapable of conceding this point. Having created the laws that have led to this mayhem, they now blame others for its consequences.
“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases. If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” Ronald Reagan’s pithy analysis is as true today as ever, the difference now being that America’s present leadership has effectively implemented this agenda. The goal of President Reagan, and of Reagan-Republicans today, encompasses limiting the role of government in American private enterprise. To this end, the U.S. Constitution grants the federal Congress limited and enumerated powers, thereby ensuring that government tendencies to consolidate power are perpetually checked by lawful rights to property.
Presidents Reagan and Obama, both entering office during times of economic hardship, enacted fiscal policies that were consistent with their respective views as to the proper role of government. Whereas Reagan cut taxes, decreased regulations, encouraged open markets and reduced non-military spending, Obama has increased taxes and regulations, initiated trade-wars with Mexico and China, neglected trade-agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea and administered over the greatest expansion of government debt in the history of the United States. Whereas Reagan’s policies served to transfer power from the government to the people, Obama’s policies can fairly be judged as Reagan’s in reverse. President Reagan’s policies resulted in a thirty year period of economic stability and growth, while stagnant markets and increased unemployment have defined the present administration.
Defenders of the Obama Administration have rationalized these results by claiming extraordinary circumstances and by transferring blame to a litany of conservative ‘villains’, including George W. Bush, Fox News, the Tea Party movement and syndicated talk-radio. In the end, however, these tactics are self-defeating. Perhaps this defense can best be summarized by another Benjamin Franklin quote: “I didn’t fail the test; I just found 100 ways to get it wrong.”
The American people are not as easily manipulated as the progressive-left may think. Actions have consequences, and in the case of politics, they can make or break a party.
Mr. Pitcoff is a freelance columnist and a committeeman for the Smithtown Republican Party. The VT welcomes perspectives from all Huntington residents. Click here for more about the rules and process for submitting an article or other media for publication.