A moment of actual conservative thinking.

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 @ 12:27 am | Deficit, Economy

Christopher Buckley:

I worked at the White House in the early Reagan administration, at a time when the deficit rocket really started to take off. The problem was that Reagan had promised to a) cut taxes and b) increase defense spending. You remember: supply side? Candidate George H.W. Bush called it “voodoo economics,” his argument being that you couldn’t cut the deficit without cutting non-defense spending. Mr. Bush stopped calling it that round about January 20, 1981. Reagan then cut taxes, increased defense spending, and didn’t cut entitlement spending. Oops.

As the deficits began mount–though they were mere trifles, pittances compared with the Mt. Everest variety with us today–I meekly raised my little voice and said, “But I thought we Republicans were supposed to be the ‘Daddy Party’–the responsible ones. The designated driver-party.”

The answer, rendered most succinctly, 20 years later by Vice President Dick Cheney, himself part of a Republican administration that managed to double the national debt in eight years, was: “Deficits don’t matter.” P.S. Go f— yourself.

And if we face a debt crisis, it’s just a good chance to slash entitlements and stop making Americans so lazy in Republican eyes. Not really the most responsible way to handle things, is it? They started instituting their philosophy thirty years ago and now everybody living today and their descendants will be left with the burden of our exorbitant conceits (such as trillion dollar wars of widespread slaughter to avenge the loss of 3000).

I think that we might as well face reality: we’re going to have to cut spending and raise taxes. (Good luck with that, America.)

And we’re left with cowardly Democrats and corrupt Republicans gleefully willing to take political power by promising people they won’t have to pay for our mistakes.

There can be no redemption for this nation without pain. It’s up to the people to demand honest politicians who will tell them they can’t have everything for nothing, and that certain bills simply must be paid. And the people who ran up the tab so high shouldn’t be lecturing us about fiscal sanity.

Entitlement reform has to come packaged with massive defense spending cuts and tax increases. Anybody else telling you different is selling a get-rich-quick scheme. And you ain’t the one getting rich.

-hw

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