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A politician’s rewards are immediate – power, prestige, and perquisites.Armey and Kibbe: A candidate who is timid on entitlement reforms is not qualified to be president.
Congress and the President, a total of 536 people, must reduce the country's debt, which means they must reform Medicaid, Social Security and (especially) Medicare. In the Wall Street Journal, Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks state the imperative of reforming Medicare:
Medicare reform has risen to the top of the national agenda and will be the defining issue of next year's elections. The outcome of this debate will greatly shape America's fiscal future, because without substantial Medicare savings the budget cannot be balanced. Period.
Over the years, 536 elected politicians (Republicans and Democrats) have willfully and recklessly created our debt. Most of the time, these elected politicians have not balanced the budget, which has become dangerous debt. Dangerous? Absolutely. World bond markets are nervous, and Standard and Poor down-graded America to a “negative.”
Bluntly, if the 536 elected officials do not reduce the debt, the world investors will reject and sell American bonds and a financial catastrophe will occur. So far, only Representative Paul Ryan and most Republican Members of Congress have voted for a plan to reduce the debt.
Just as many Congresses and Presidents have willfully and recklessly create this debt, other than Ryan and House Republicans no elected federal politician has offered a solution. Most blameworthy are President Obama and Senator Conrad (Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee). They have offered no comprehensive proposal.
What has persisted is the politics of demagoguery. Attack ads against Ryan and Members of Congress are scurrilous and incessant. Hopefully, America recognizes the crisis and appreciates a proposal of good intent. Armey and Kibbe believe Americans are discerning:
The politics of spending has changed. Most Americans understand the math and recognize the challenge. They want to get behind bold, principled entitlement reforms that can save the country from a debt collapse while making the safety net stronger and individuals freer. The Ryan plan plus Medicare freedom is such a reform.
Addressing the Republicans Armey and Kibbe said:
Any serious GOP presidential candidate must be absolutely clear on this issue. Kicking the can down the road is no longer an option. A candidate who is timid on entitlement reforms is not qualified to be president.
This is correct, but must be expanded. Every candidate for Congress and for President – Democrat and Republican - cannot kick the debt debacle down the road. A candidate who is timid on entitlement reforms is not qualified to be elected.
Remember, the current President and Members of Congress, a total of 536 elected federal officials, have the power to reduce the debt immediately. Their inaction is the greatest threat to America in our time.