I have previously written on a number of themes that are in play in the current debate to avoid sequester from taking place. At the risk of boring some by repeating them, this debate boils down to one fundamental issue that the country has to decide: whether the private sector provides for jobs and economic growth or the government is a better way to achieve the same end.
President Obama and his party tend to agree with the statement made by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi that spending cuts would hurt economic growth. Stated another way, most Democrats subscribe to an economic model which says that government spending is a critical element to economic strength. The problem with this approach is that it assumes government is like a business. It takes as fact that government creates revenue that is used to employ people and produce a product that generates further revenue in an effort to self-sustain or even grow. The problem is, government doesn’t work this way. It’s only way to generate revenue is to take it, through taxes, from others. It cannot self-sustain, and in fact, makes it much harder for others to self-sustain by taking valuable resources from people who can use them more effectively.
Republicans, conservative ones anyway, firmly believe that economic growth and job creation takes place in the private sector without government intervention. Placing money in the hands of people who know how to use it to build businesses and create even more revenue in that type of self-sustaining work that creates jobs and grows the economy is the answer. We are better off as a country by keeping government spending down so that it needs less revenue and, therefore, takes less from the productive private sector.
Those on the right and those on the left also disagree on another fundamental and related principal. People left of center tend to think that the amount of pie is fixed and we must spread it around as a matter of “fairness” so that everyone gets a piece . Those on the right tend to think the pie can be made bigger and bigger so that everyone can have a piece and a larger one at that.
The sequester debate is really about whether we continue to feed the beast in a way that fits the Democrat government-centric approach to economics or scale it back to the more traditionally American approach adopted by those of us on the right.
The way to win the debate is to allow sequester to happen, in part. The Republican House should pass legislation in small pieces to pay for the necessary parts of the government like defense spending. Send the bills to the Senate and the President and let them say no if they choose. As for the rest, let the sequester take effect.
Calling for the parties to come together will once again fall on deaf ears. What’s more, this alternative approach allows Republicans to flip the debate and, if Democrats won’t pass the legislation on the parts Republicans send over to the Senate, claim Democrats are the ones unwilling to be reasonable. After all, everyone can agree that our military should remain strong and our soldiers, sailors, and Marines paid. Other elements of the budget fit into similar categories and could be approached the same way.
If Democrats won’t agree on a resolution to those spending levels, then they are the ones holding things hostage to serve their own ideological ends of growing the welfare state. At that point, they are exposed.