Allahpundit points out what is going to be for many conservatives a depressing poll – boiled down, no one wants to cut anything. At least, that is, when a pollster asks a question like, “do you want to cut aid to the needy in the United States?”. To that question, 27% want to increase it, 44% want to keep it the same and only 24% want to cut it. Like I said, rather depressing to most conservatives. To me? Its delightful. Shows we can easily win this debate and get America back to fiscal rationality.
While you can read it as 71% wanted to keep spending the same or increase it, it also works out to 68% wanting to keep it the same or decrease it. And here’s the kicker: government spending never stays the same: it keeps going up. Remember, when our Democrats talk about “draconian cuts which will force granny to starve!!!” what they are really talking about is “tiny reductions to the rate of spending growth”. That is, of course, asinine but we have to face this fact, Republicans: Democrats have won the debate on “spending cuts”. “Spending cuts”, because of relentless Democrat lies megaphoned by the by-lined Democrats in the MSM, have come to mean in the public mind, “Republicans want granny to starve”. Ok, so we lost that one. No problem. When you’ve lost a debate the only thing you can do is change the debate. And, so, no more talk of “spending cuts” but, instead, lets talk “spending reform”.
Getting back to that 44% who want it to stay the same – that is who we’re targeting with spending reform. These are good, honest, decent people who want to help the poor but who also realize two truths: government spending is growing too fast and a lot of the spending is not done very well, and so why give more money for government to louse things up with? We want to drive a wedge between that 44% who want to stay the same and that 27% who want to increase. That is what spending reform is for. Here’s how it works:
1. We pledge no net increase or decrease in government spending.
2. We pledge that the beneficiaries of government spending will be reserved at least 80% of the government dollars spent on that particular program.
3. We pledge to increase the benefits for veterans, social security retirement recipients, children’s health care beneficiaries and classroom teachers.
So, we’re no longer going to talk about cutting spending – we’re no longer evil, skin flint Republicans who want the poor to starve. And, in fact, we’re going to ensure that the government dollars go where they are supposed to go, not to favored individuals and groups who have latched on to government spending and aren’t the needy we’re intending to help. At the end of the day, our spending reform will allow us to re-direct enough money from the powerful leeches who have battened on government that we’ll be able to provide more benefits to those who need it. Presto!, we’re now the people who are working to provide a helping hand. Democrats? They’re the people who want to go on increasing spending in a reckless, unbalanced manner while never ensuring that those who need aid, get it.
Long term, this helps us also balance the budget – because we all know (even Democrats in their cowardly, greedy hearts know it) that a gigantic portion of government spending is entirely wasted. We might spend $10 billion on a food aid program but you know darn well that a massive amount of it gets spent on things other than food aid to the poor. It gets spent on layers of un-necessary bureaucrats. It gets spent on people who are having a rake off as some sort of government contractor. It simply disappears down a rat hole of unaccounted (because no one is really watching) government spending. Of any $10 billion in government spending we could probably spend $8 billion and actually give more money to those in need than they are getting now. After a while, if money is properly used, it will be shown that government spends far more than it needs…that surplus money will start to pile up in government coffers as those living well off government are kicked away from the trough. And then – when government is in surplus – then and only then can we actually go for net reductions in spending.
A key point to remember here is not to campaign against or carp about anything that smacks of “welfare queen”. We’re not battling the poor people who have become dependent upon government (other plans and programs will have to be made to wean them off – and that will take two generations to complete, so dependent have some people become), we’re battling those who live well off of government. All those high paid and entirely un-needed government bureaucrats. All those who stand between the Treasury and the beneficiary: that is whom we battle, and that is whom we expose as we campaign on spending reform. Just a little bit of investigative shoe leather will probably reveal enough examples of over-paid and under-worked government bureaucrats who can be targeted as we shift the debate away from spending cuts and over to spending reform.
Remember, our Democrats (and a portion of the GOP) are just a Ruling Class determined to maintain their personal wealth and power. Government spending growth is their increasing license to steal and they have been fighting tooth and nail to keep it. We have to cut out the rug from underneath them and the old campaign against government waste, fraud and abuse coupled with attacks on welfare queens won’t do it. We need to offer a positive vision of reform: something which impresses on the mind that we’re not the Party of No but are, instead, the Party of Reform.
This also ties in with my ideas of campaigning for “local control” as well as making a “make/mine/grow” economy. Intertwined with spending reform will be tax/regulatory reform designed to shift our economy from services and information back to making/mining/growing as well as a freedom campaign to give maximum power to local bodies to determine who government will work. We’d be thinking in terms of allowing Catholic Charities and other such worthy organizations to provide food aid to the poor, and more of it than they’re getting now, rather than keeping the current layers of bureaucrats who siphon off the money so that, often, only a pittance shows up in the hands of the poor. Furthermore, this allows us to go in to the bluest areas of our urban centers with a “bag of goodies” to shift those voting habits a bit our direction…remember, eat in to Democrat support in Philadelphia, Detroit and Chicago and Pennsylvania, Michigan and Illinois come within our reach electorally.
Think anew and act anew – the times call for it.