I was fortunate as a young man to work for an incredible entrepreneur who is the founder and CEO of major internet company. His first company was started right here in Cedar Rapids. This man built not one, but two highly successful companies. He doesn’t make promises, he just takes action! I joined his first company in 1991 and he moved me through eleven different jobs in five years.
I’ll never forget something that happened about two years after I started. I had been moved into a new role and for the first time had full profit and loss responsibility for a small division of the company. I had my second meeting with this entrepreneur to discuss the performance of the division about ten days after I took on the responsibility. I was focused on what I was going to do in this new position. I started telling him about all my plans, but he abruptly stopped me. He told me he didn’t want to hear about what I was going to do, but instead he wanted to hear about what I had done. Essentially he was saying that the time for talking was done and it was time for accomplishment. Wouldn’t it be great to have politicians that have this same bias for action?
In 2001 the federal budget was $1.86 trillion. Under mostly Republican rule, the budget ballooned to $2.9 trillion in 2008. In the last three years, it has grown nearly another trillion to $3.8 trillion. The Republicans owned both houses of congress and the Presidency for five years in the last decade. During that time, they gave us a huge expansion of the entitlement state and they did nothing to restrain spending.
I realize that the current Republicans have only been in office two months, and that making major changes in the government is not as easy as making major changes in a company owned by a decisive entrepreneur. But, the idea of ending talk and beginning action couldn’t be more relevant.
We are clearly at a tipping point in this country. Right now, we need to decide whether we continue down the path of destruction. The outcome on that path is easy to predict as we look at what has happened in much of Europe. This path is marked by a lot of talk, and only small cuts that kick the can down the road until a much larger problem occurs. They do not solve anything.
Or, can we count on the Republicans to do what is right? Do they have the fortitude to make real cuts? So far, only Rand Paul, Senator from Kentucky, and Paul Ryan, House member from Wisconsin, seem to be willing to make serious cuts. However, most Republicans seem to think Paul’s proposed cuts are way too much or as so many on the left like to say “Draconian.” In fact, the left thinks cutting expenditures to 2008 levels are Draconian.
As of now, the House has agreed to cut $60 billion out of the current year’s budget. This is compared to the $100 billion they promised. The house could not even pass an amendment with an additional $20 billion in cuts on Friday evening. We can listen to excuse after excuse as to why they won’t cut more. They tell us that this cut or that cut is not the right cut. They say that $100 billion this year is too difficult because they came into office three months into the fiscal year. Of course, when they made the promises, they understood the calendar.
Why is it that Paul, Ryan and Governors Chris Christie and Scott Walker are anomalies in our party? Why doesn’t the rest of the party have their kind of leadership? In the 2010 elections, the country unequivocally told Washington and every state capital the time for talk was over. They made it clear it was no longer acceptable to talk about what was going to happen. They needed to deliver. The Republicans promised $100 billion in cuts which is not nearly enough. But, they only seem to be able to deliver on $60 billion. When you strip out all the rhetoric and look at the numbers, the Republicans are delivering cuts equal to approximately 1.6% of the federal budget while the deficit is 40% of the budget. I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure how much money, time, passion and effort I am going to put in to helping a candidate that can only deliver a 1.6% improvement on what the Democrats deliver.
blog comments powered by Disqus