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Blog

    Moment of Truth

    04/11/2011

    Democracy and Power 105:  The Politician seeks power

    The desire to rule is the mother of heresies. – St. John Chrysostom

      Moment of Truth


    America’s governmental debt puts us at risk of an economic catastrophe. Government spending must be reduced and Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security must be restructured.  Reprehensibly, America’s elected leaders ignore the obvious.  David Brooks of the New York Times explains:

     Smart Washington insiders like Mitch McConnell and President Obama decided that any party that actually tried to implement these ideas would be committing political suicide.

    Propitiously, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has proffered a debt reduction proposal.  Brooks analyzes the political impact:

    The Ryan proposal will help settle the fight over the government shutdown and the 2011 budget because it will remind everybody that the real argument is not about cutting a few billion here or there. It is about the underlying architecture of domestic programs in 2012 and beyond.

    The Ryan budget will put all future arguments in the proper context: The current welfare state is simply unsustainable and anybody who is serious, on left or right, has to have a new vision of the social contract.

    For many years, elected officials – Democrats and Republicans – have willfully voted for deficits, which have become dangerous debts.  Ryan has the knowledge, conviction and courage to cut spending and restructure social programs.  As Brooks opines, Ryan has framed the debate about the size and form of governance for America.  

    Every American should engage in this debate.  Good policy will not be achieved by leaving the decision to the politicians, e.g., Pelosi and DeLay, who intentionally created and reprehensibly ignored America’s debt crisis.  This is the Moment of Truth for America.