Apparently multi-tasking is not my forte

by CynthiaYockey on January 7, 2011

I apologize for being away for so long. I am working on a couple of projects that require my full attention AND that I take better care of myself. If I were to try to keep things lively by reviewing other people’s work and linking it here, I would almost certainly find something I would just have to write about well into the wee hours of the morning, which would make me too exhausted and foggy the next day to do my work.

Once I have accomplished what I need to do, I will be back to writing regularly. I am in this for the long haul.

However, I would love it if some of my gentle readers were to explain to me the economic theory of fiscal conservatism of cutting spending on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security INSTEAD of increasing prosperity by all the means fiscal conservatives favor, such as simplifying the tax code, reducing corporate income taxes, eliminating the estate tax, making America energy independent through nuclear energy and drilling our own oil reserves, making America a profitable place to manufacture goods, securing our borders, ending birthright citizenship, refusing all government services (except prison or deportation) to illegal aliens and confiscating all the property owned by any illegal alien (for the same reason bank robbers don’t get to keep the money just because they got out of the bank before they were caught). We have ALL the best ideas on how to increase prosperity. Why aren’t we doing that FIRST?

After all, one of the first things you learn in science and math is that you must set the problem up correctly in order to solve it. While it looks like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — the so-called “entitlement programs” — are where the big money is for cutting the size of government and the tax burden, it seems to me that we are walking right into a trap where we make the Left look like Santa Claus and Obama gets another term before we can explain how we’re not really the Grinch that stole Christmas. After all, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are programs to care for the disabled and elderly — people who either are past their working prime, or who are too disabled, sick or frail to work at all. They are not freeloading or shirking. It will be very reasonable for them to ask, “What will become of me if these cuts are passed?” and then to run right into the arms of the Left.

In my opinion, the correct way to set up the problem of our national debt and the deficit is to start by implementing everything we know will unleash prosperity. THAT’s how we expose the Left as the Grinch. (Note to liberals: the Progressive/socialistic planned economy that Obama and the Democrats have been establishing destroys liberty and prosperity.)

Here’s an example of how important it is to set a problem up correctly. Gas prices have shot up in the last few weeks and a commentator on CNN yesterday claimed the reason is global competition. This seems plausible, is guilt-inducing and appears to validate the green agenda. However, it is the green agenda that has ensured that we have not been tapping our own oil reserves or building nuclear reactors so that energy will be cheap and abundant. Our economy and lives would not be in the control of other nations to the degree that they are if it were not for the green agenda.

When a burden is too heavy, your options are to reduce the size of the burden to what you can carry, or to increase your ability to carry the burden. Just imagine how people would rally to fiscal conservative policies when they see their salvation in them! If only we were talking about all the ways to implement our policies that empower and prosper everyone! And yet, what are our newly elected fiscal conservative leaders doing? Talking non-stop about how best to shuck the burden of the elderly and disabled in order to demonstrate their financial prudence by their willingness to inflict pain and sacrifice … on other people.

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  • Liz

    I think a lot of people are fighting on the leftists’ terms. The left can’t point to anything they’re doing to increase prosperity, so they rabbit on about how much they’re spending and “giving” people.

    A lot of people on the centre/right haven’t been paying attention and setting the scene in the same way the left has. So they look at the debate and fight it on the battlefield the left has set up.

    The reason the debate is all about spending (which is a necessary component, but not to the exclusion of other things) is that this is what the left wants it to be about and what they have prepared it to be. Fiscal conservatives are reacting to what the left is screeching about.

  • Michael

    For a lady with no time to write, you said a mouthful, and said it well. While there is some math involved in the idea that we “need to get a handle on entitlements,” the handle is not much more than instituting some means-testing, raising the Social Security retirement age, plus returning to the well-functioning welfare reforms forced on Clinton by the Republican Congress. Since “welfare as we know it” is hugely destructive to families, especially those of African descent, this is a reform that only troubles Democrats, who used AFDC to buy votes. However, none of this is primary. It can be done, in due course, when fiscal Conservatism has begun to bear fruit. People are much more amenable to suggestion when they are being scared out of their wits by each new installment of the Daily Horrible Economic News.

    • Michael,
      Thank you. Please remember, though, that there are HUGE distinctions between welfare programs and Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Welfare programs target able-bodied people, in particular members of grievance groups who are told they must depend on government because they are helpless and the system is against them for all eternity and they are powerless — even in a democracy — to do anything to improve their lot, individually, as a family or as a group. THEN these programs reward destructive behaviors, such having children outside of marriage. As a result, welfare programs destroy talent, ambition, genious and initiative.

      In contrast, it is EXTREMELY difficult to get into Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. You must be a certain age, or disabled, or elderly AND disabled. These programs are for people who CAN’T work. They do NOT get on these programs because they are members of grievance groups. And in “The Road to Serfdom,” Friedrich Hayek specifically said that such programs are appropriate for free-market economies.

      Regarding fear, I’m sorry to disagree, but brain research shows that fear shuts down the reasoning part of the brain. That is why fear is mongered — to create tunnel vision so people do not have the ability to weigh their options. When you motivate people with a stick, you have no idea which direction they will run to get away from it. If conservatives terrorize people about the economy, they will run straight to the Left and the supposed security of a planned economy. Conservatives, however, have all the carrots, and when you use the carrot to motivate, you know exactly where people will go — to the carrot. We need to be showing off all our carrots in the marketplace of ideas.

      Stay tuned, by the way, I will be writing more about a specific carrot very soon.

      Cynthia

  • Sorry I’m so late to the party. I’ve been on a brief hiatus myself. From a conservative standpoint (when you’re not taking politics into account) it makes the most sense to cut spending first.

    Imagine for a moment that you are the head of your household and you’re in financial trouble because you’re spending outside of your means. Obviously, there are a lot of ways to approach this, but the logical first step would be to cut spending (any unnecessary monthly expenditures). Then you could begin looking at other alternative, such as finding a better-paying job, etc. Your family’s not going to like having to give anything up, but there’s not much they can do about.

    Bringing it back to your original point…you are right. The family members in this analogy are the American people. The difference between the two, is that the American people have a voting say in how things are done. So, that adds an extra variable to the mix.

    Most conservatives aren’t used to looking at things from this political perspective. They tend to be the type of people who are willing to make sacrifices to get back on track, so they fail at taking into account how others will react to those sacrifices. They do see the importance of all of the other necessary steps, but it seems illogical to approach them in any other order than they would in their personal lives.

    So, you are right…the flaw lies in their approach. Also, even though I don’t support Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, in general, I do agree that they are different than other entitlement programs and should be at the bottom of the list of cuts. I assume they are a primary target purely because of how large they are, comparisonwise.

    Thank you for writing this. You’ve actually removed a little of my own tunnel vision. From your “lips” to their “ears,” so to speak.

  • Waltzingmtilda

    Very well said Cynthia!

    <3

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