Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Problem After Next

The immediate challenge facing the Tea Party is to get candidates elected in November and throw out the bums who have made our economic situation far worse than it needed to be. To that end, with the primaries over, I fully support William Jacobson's post at Legal Insurrection that the Lombardi Rule is in effect:
The object is to win fairly, by the rules – but to win.
Time to do the hard work of getting our folks in office.

After we put some Tea Party candidates in office the next challenge will be to reverse the most pernicious effects of the last ten years. This means ending the bailouts, ending the stimulus, but I repeat myself, repealing Obamacare and securing the border. This is our platform, it is simple, it is popular and it is powerful. I look forward to good results in November regardless of individual polls and naysayers.

Now for the bad news. The next set of problems are much harder to deal with, but deal with them we must.

1. Entitlements. Even if we repeal Obamacare, whose purported benefits have not yet kicked in, entitlements are slowly destroying the federal budget. But the chief entitlement programs are very popular, Social Security and Medicare.

2. Government Pensions. State and local governments are going to be unable to meet their debt obligations (technically not bankruptcy, but practically) due to the crushing burden of their pension obligations. Even if new employees are put in more rational plans, the current benefits are usually contractually obligated, and therefore have a first call on the revenue of government. A call for a federal bailout is sure to come.

3. Immigration. Securing the border won't fully solve this issue. Sorry. It is a necessary first step to gain control of the problem and gain the trust of the people, but the economic pressure that caused the problem isn't going away. Further, we need the skilled people that want to enjoy our freedom if we are to maintain competitive advantage. We need the unskilled people that perform work that would often go begging. Their is little broad agreement on how to achieve these ends.

4. The Culture. The culture of entitlement, lack of accountability and personal responsibility are at the root of all of our other problems. We have to restore a culture where it is considered morally objectionable to dump one's problems at the doorsteps of society while taking no personal responsibility for one's own problems.

These problems are thornier but not intractable. What gives me hope is that average people are thinking into the root causes of our problems, giving us a chance to effect long term change.

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