The New York Times .. I could probably stop there, but Nicholas Kristof’s intellectually dishonest op-ed deserves rebuke.
Kristof’s post asserts that Republicans’ strategy will amount to turning the United States into a backwards, military-led, middle-eastern-like country (emphasis mine).
With Tea Party conservatives and many Republicans balking at raising the debt ceiling, let me offer them an example of a nation that lives up to their ideals.
It has among the lowest tax burdens of any major country:fewer than 2 percent of the people pay any taxes. Government is limited, so that burdensome regulations never kill jobs.
This society embraces traditional religious values and a conservative sensibility. Nobody minds school prayer, same-sex marriage isn’t imaginable, and criminals are never coddled.
The budget priority is a strong military, the nation’s most respected institution. When generals decide on a policy for, say, Afghanistan, politicians defer to them. Citizens are deeply patriotic, and nobody burns flags.
So what is this Republican Eden, this Utopia? Why, it’s Pakistan.
Now obviously Sarah Palin and John Boehner don’t intend to turn Washington into Islamabad-on-the-Potomac. And they are right that long-term budget issues do need to be addressed. But when many Republicans insist on “starving the beast” of government, cutting taxes, regulations and social services — slashing everything but the military — well, those are steps toward Pakistan.
Riiiiiight. Absolutist argumentation. If we cut government spending – at all – we will be living in squalor with a military-run government.
The truth is that Conservatives do not want to remove all government spending, in direct contradiction to Nicholas’ post. But, we don’t need to spend Americans’ tax dollars on abortions, art festivals, Libya, research on shrimp on treadmills, NPR, the NLRB, over a trillion in stimulus that went to fund Unions and democratic campaigns (and brought no jobs), Obamacare, and so much more.
According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans disagree with the Times columnist. 73% believe government spends too much on programs and only 22% believe the government takes in too little in taxes.
Government has been the only answer to almost every problem since 1965 and it’s being proven wrong. The postal system is going broke and can’t fix itself, Medicare can’t handle its costs and will be bankrupt in a matter of years, Social Security has been robbed by the spend-happy liberals for decades and their answer is to keep the status quo. That’s not an answer, that’s restating the problem and pretending it is its own solution.
No one disputes the facts that Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid will go broke if they are allowed to continue as-is. There simply isn’t enough money in the economy to pay for benefits when less than half of Americans pay income taxes. Conservative Republicans have led by offering multiple solutions – all of which the Democrats have simply defeated or refused to vote on. The only plan coming from Democrats is to keep things as they are.
The liberal assertion is that we can’t reform any entitlement programs because we will be heading down a slippery slope that will end in America turning into something resembling a third-world country. The truth is that bankruptcy is upon us and if we do nothing to reform our spending to levels that our economy can support – we will be envying those third world nations.