The Genius of Sam Donaldson
Old Sam Donaldson is back in the news. You remember Sam, don't you? Physically, he tends to remind one of an eagle. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to have the vision of one - particularly in regard to our future.
Here's what Sam had to say last weekend:
"It's the Tea Party and thinking of the Tea Party and people like that that are driving the Republicans out of contention as a national party. You cannot win nationally if you don't know something about the way the country's changed, and the Tea Party seems to think the country can go back 25 or 30 years. The greatest slogan that I hated during this last campaign was "We want to take back our country." Guys, it's not your country anymore - it's our country and you're part of it, but that thinking is going to defeat Republicans nationally if they don't get rid of it."
Obviously, Sam Donaldson has been exposed to Washington DC for too long, and has become infected with a malady all too common. Thisisnormalitiis.
Sam, are you saying that what we have going on in the nation's capitol is just fine? That the Tea Party needs to just shut up about lower taxes and decreasing our debt, because the majority of the country believes that high taxes and exploding debt is just wonderful?
I remember you, Sam. The fearless tormentor of Ronald Reagan. But, like Reagan, I am not overly impressed by your superior intellect. Please allow me the arrogance to point out a few things. I know I am only from fly-over country, and may lack your enlightenment, but I do believe there are a few salient points to be made.
You say that we cannot go back 25 or 30 years, time has moved on and there is no return. Well, 30 years ago was 1982. The budget deficit that year was around 128 billion dollars, which represented about four percent of GDP. In 2012, the budget deficit was over 1.3 trillion dollars, about 8.5 percent of GDP.
You see, Mr. Donaldson, what those knuckle-dragging, no-nothing Tea Parties are saying is that you had better get back to 1982 spending levels or our country is going to go bankrupt (1902 spending levels would be better, but I digress). It is not advanced math. You notice that we are not even talking about the 16 trillion dollars in national debt that we have run up, we are only speaking of the annual deficit. So what is it, big Sam? Shall we just keep spending like there is no tomorrow? Please, offer your keen insight, tell us how we can keep spending like this. The members of the Tea Party believe that if we don't get spending under control there will be no tomorrow. Are they wrong?
This spending is disastrous in and of itself, but it is also going to lead to higher taxes. Those troglodyte people in the Tea Party don't believe in higher taxes, for a few reasons. Higher taxes do not have a great record for helping the economy, and there is no way that the federal government should be getting an additional dime more until they decide to realistically address overspending. You see, Mr. Donaldson, quite a few of us naïve clodhoppers think that if we provide new revenue to Washington through taxes they will just blow through it like crap through a goose. You have been in Washington - do you think that it is a place of fiscal prudence? You tell me - if revenue is increased, will the politicians use it to pay down the debt, or will they find new and interesting ways to spend it? You're the expert - teach us.
We can't go back in time. Sam Donaldson has instructed us that what we are witnessing now is just the normal way of doing business. We can't turn back the clock, and furthermore, why should we?
Because, oh brilliant Sam of the beltway, some of us love our country and are very concerned about the future. You talk about a change in policy going back 30 years is impossible, I say that a change in policy going back about a century is a necessity. Like a family, we need to find a way to make our income meet our liabilities. You may think that this madness can go on forever, but we do not. And please, don't tell me about the "spending cuts" that are being discussed right now. They will not happen under this administration, and they would be every bit as effective as bringing a single cotton ball to clean an oil spill.
A bright future for this nation can only be achieved by returning to fiscal policies of the past, there is no way around that. But we can do it your way, Sam. We can just keep screaming down this liberal road until there is nothing left, default on our debt, and then become just another failed experiment in socialized engineering. And then just fade into history. A great, powerful nation that almost stood the test of time. Almost.
And, if that should come to pass, and you are still alive to see it, you will feel pretty stupid about your modern ideas. Won't you, Mr. Donaldson?
Follow David on Twitter at @DavidJGarth and visit his website A Most Sacred Right.