The Cost of Compromise

by | Aug 17, 2011 | POLITICS

If this latest “debt deal” was anything, it was certainly everything a “compromise” had to offer. While the original cut, cap, and balance plan was at least a step in the right direction, the underlying principles motivating the bill were unfathomable to Harry Reid and President Obama. The debate on the nation’s fiscal policy was […]

If this latest “debt deal” was anything, it was certainly everything a “compromise” had to offer. While the original cut, cap, and balance plan was at least a step in the right direction, the underlying principles motivating the bill were unfathomable to Harry Reid and President Obama. The debate on the nation’s fiscal policy was necessary but it wasn’t healthy or productive. The finalized agreement is absent of principles or a plan to get America off its death bed status. Markets are just beginning to realize the implications of this “compromise.”

Currently, credit downgrades and increased market volatility are just the tip of the iceberg. This debt deal rejects any notion of the proper role of government and effectively places the entitlement state under a nuclear umbrella of sorts.

Kim Holmes of the Heritage Foundation published a troubling article (hyperlink—http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/08/Debt-Ceiling-Deal-and-the-Budget-Cuts-in-Defense-Spending) that demonstrates what a plague the mixed economy has become. His dissection of the agreement unveils the unsettling emptiness of the broader debt debate:

The deal promises to raise the debt ceiling by the highest amount ever—more than $2 trillion—while reducing spending by close to $1 trillion over the next decade. It envisions 6 percent and 7.5 percent cuts in defense spending from the President’s budget request in February for fiscal years 2012 and 2013, respectively. It sets a non-binding goal of $1.5 trillion worth of deficit reduction to be recommended by the congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, which the legislation creates.

At the surface level, cuts in defense spending are somewhat welcoming. Three welfare wars, absurd rules of engagement, and the fact that American soldiers are fighting for everyone else’s sense of freedom but their own has proven disastrous and humiliating. All thanks to the delusional neoconservatives and the lunatics overseeing the “kinetic military action” in Libya while “leading from behind.” One could only expect to see these terms in a George Orwell novel. Regardless, Holmes’ analysis does present an alarming possibility that is built into the debt deal:

If Congress does not enact a sufficient deficit-reduction plan by this December, the deal calls for an automatic sequestration that would authorize making half of the cuts only in security spending, with the bulk coming out of the Department of Defense. Thus a single federal agency—one that is actually doing a good job and serving a constitutionally mandated role—will have to bear nearly the same amount of cuts as all the remaining domestic agencies combined, including Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Education, Interior, Energy, Justice, and Labor.

As if that were not enough, there are no automatic cuts in entitlement benefits. We will have to sacrifice the future security of all Americans without actually getting at the cause of the debt crisis—namely, runaway spending on Social Security and the other big social entitlements.

Tragically, the Department of Defense hasn’t been doing a good job. The soldiers and their commanders aren’t cowards, the politicians and policy makers are. The right of a civilized nation to defend itself is no longer a legitimate concept in the 21st century. Needless to say, this has only emboldened the bloodthirsty Islamists who continue to maim and murder while the U.S. continues to “unclench fists” and bribe its enemies.

Holmes has the courage to make the essential point that any civilized government requires adequate defense. The other bureaucracies dedicated to social engineering agendas and the entitlement programs are not in accordance with America’s founding principles.

The liberal socialists in Congress have framed the debt agreement to their strategic interests:

 …the GOP will have to accept the defense cuts, raise taxes, or abandon the deal altogether, none of which they will want to do. Many liberals, on the other hand, will be happy with any of these outcomes.

 Essentially, this deal just postpones the day of reckoning on entitlement spending while sacrificing America’s security interests. It is hard to imagine a more short- sighted political decision by Congress.

 …If these cuts go through, we are facing the end of American security as we know it.

As Ayn Rand noted, in any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. As it stands now, that’s what this “compromise” has become. Cut, cap, and balance would have placed the liberal socialists in Washington on the defensive. Instead, Republicans regarded principles as secondary and blinked. President Obama can’t claim total victory but his persistent theme of “compromise” and “shared sacrifice” proved effective.

This debate was supposed to focus on the proper role of government but the left and the right adhere to the same philosophy. The welfare state and the federal bureaucratic establishment are too sensitive for Republicans to question. They caved to the premise that these elements are good, old fashioned American values.

Entitlement programs do not pay to those who’ve contributed, they merely rob from some to give to others. Furthermore, the expansion of these programs has encouraged suicidal levels of borrowing that have crippled future generations with debts that they did not voluntarily choose to incur. America’s future generations have been forced to accept the consequences of those who demand to enjoy the unearned.

The majority of federal agencies crafted by Congress oftentimes act outside of the framework of the Constitution. Furthermore, the executive branch can and has shaped public policy through these institutions, all under the illegitimate guise of the “greater good.” If Republicans had any sense, they would put such agencies on the chopping block. In a land built on individualism, there can be no agency that determines what air is pure to breath and what air isn’t or, at the parents expense, what others’ children must learn in school.

Americans need to realize that Obama and the left are the poison. A revelation from God will not provide it but the acceptance that one’s life is theirs to live will. Even though the S&P is desperately attempting to salvage its reputation, this downgrade affirms that this economy is to Obama what Iraq was to Bush. The entire structure and philosophy of the federal government needs to be reexamined on moral grounds. People can construct and fortify a hedge against unbridled statism. Rejecting compromise for the sake of compromise would be a unique first step.

Share
Damon Gonzalez Jr. writes on politics andf foreign policy issues.

Voice of Capitalism

Our weekly email newsletter.