Sunday, January 2, 2011

Don't screw it up

Writing in The Examiner, Prof. Glenn Harlan Reynolds gives some excellent advice to Congress.  In short, be bold and don't blow it.  I would add that Congress shouldn't buy into the bloviations of wishful thinkers who claim that voters have short attention spans and soon will return to their old disengaged lives.  We are living with the results of a Congress who has gone about its business unwatched and unchecked and we won't be making that mistake again.  Prof Reynolds:

Second, remember that fortune favors the bold. It's true that ordinarily in politics, most progress occurs at the margins. But it's also true that these are not ordinary times. Big money-saving and government-shrinking proposals in the House, even if they're shot down by the Democrat-controlled Senate, will nonetheless establish a tone.
They're trying to hide it, but the Inside-the-Beltway permanent-government political class is currently scared. Keep them that way, while showing the public at large that you're serious.
Dear Republican congressmen, push, push, push,  Force the Dems to join you or leave them to defend in indefensible.  Either way, we, the American people, win and they, the collectivists who have driven us to edge of bankruptcy, lose.

We are off to a good start.  The Hill on legislation introduced last month by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-CA:

Introduced earlier this month, Nunes' Public Pension Transparency Act would force state and local pension programs to report their liabilities to the federal government using a uniform accounting standard. It would also create a federal ban on any future public pension bailouts by Washington.

The bill has picked up the support of several leading Republicans, including Reps. Paul Ryan (Wis.) and Darrell Issa (Calif.). In a statement issued earlier this month, Ryan, who will head the House Budget Committee in the next Congress, said the proposal "will make government more accountable to taxpayers by shining a light on the financial soundness and unfunded obligations associated with these plans."
Deprived of federal bailout funds what will states like California do?  Well, California is facing a 500 billion dollar pension shortfall so it is doubtful that they can raise taxes high enough to cover the shortage.  Without help from Washington (translation: you and me), California will be forced to do the one thing that governments are loath to do:  fix the damn problem.

Sadly, government has been no better on the federal level than on the state when it comes to actual problem solving.  Often this is because the government interjects itself into problems that simply are none of its business.  Unfortunately, while government may not excel at fixing problems it has the creation of problems down to a science.  Think ObamaCare, Social Security, Medicare. 

But if Republicans take Prof. Reynolds advice and act boldly they can begin to undo the problems they helped create.  We can only hope they don't screw it up.


No comments: