From Clown Cars to Moon Shots
The other day, a friend of mine asked me what I thought of Dr. Benjamin Carson. For those who don’t know, Dr. Carson is a retired and rather famous neurosurgeon. He recently addressed the National Prayer Breakfast where he made news for his criticism of Mr. Obama’s policies in general and specifically, for Obama Care. You can read the story here where there is a video of Dr. Carson’s speech.
I told my friend that I like Carson’s point of view. He shows he is willing to go toe-to-toe with Obama’s principles. However, at the end of the day, he’s a doctor. He knows not of the ways of politics and campaigning and it may eat him. Time will tell.
My friend then asked what I thought about him forming a third party.
I am no fan or supporter of a 3rd party system, no matter who steps up to form one. We should instead learn the lesson taught us by recent history when Ross Perot split the vote away from George H. W. Bush and allowed Bill Clinton to win. It’s a losing proposition.
Instead, we should concentrate on how to reconstitute the Republican Party which has allowed itself to be undercut and discredited by the left. The GOP has been a dismal failure on commanding the national dialog and delivering a message that can garner votes.
In addition, there is a bigger problem working against the GOP. Simply put, America has been subverted. That process has produced several generations of voters who believe they have a right to access to the treasury. From that same pool come the politicians who also believe they have that right. The GOP has a long and bumpy road ahead of it.
It was at this point I began to tell my friend about a recent article written by David A. Stockman. Stockman is a former Republican congressman from Michigan, President Ronald Reagan’s budget director from 1981 to 1985 and the author, most recently, of “The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America.” Mr. Stockman’s piece was very well written and also garnered some criticism from both the left and the right. The piece describes the current state of America, how we got that way and offers a remedy for our financial and political systems because these systems are indeed wrecked. Stockam’s point is that if we’re going to get anything done, it’s going to ….
… require a drastic deflation of the realm of politics and the abolition of incumbency itself, because the machinery of the state and the machinery of re-election have become conterminous. Prying them apart would entail sweeping constitutional surgery: amendments to give the president and members of Congress a single six-year term, with no re-election; providing 100 percent public financing for candidates; strictly limiting the duration of campaigns (say, to eight weeks); and prohibiting, for life, lobbying by anyone who has been on a legislative or executive payroll. It would also require overturning Citizens United and mandating that Congress pass a balanced budget, or face an automatic sequester of spending.
It would also require purging the corrosive financialization that has turned the economy into a giant casino since the 1970s. This would mean putting the great Wall Street banks out in the cold to compete as at-risk free enterprises, without access to cheap Fed loans or deposit insurance. Banks would be able to take deposits and make commercial loans, but be banned from trading, underwriting and money management in all its forms.
It would require, finally, benching the Fed’s central planners, and restoring the central bank’s original mission: to provide liquidity in times of crisis but never to buy government debt or try to micromanage the economy. Getting the Fed out of the financial markets is the only way to put free markets and genuine wealth creation back into capitalism.
As it turns out, this the the very issue that I have been rattling around in my head for awhile now, and it relates to my current vision of America as being a clown car aimlessly bouncing around in the desert. The issue takes the form of a few simple questions; “Where do we want America to be in 20-50 years? What should our priorities be and how do we get there when we change captains every 4-8 years? ” Remember, it took a mere 40 years to get where we are today. We should be looking for answers to these questions and if we’re going to solve the problems facing us we are going to need a national policy that takes on characteristics of a moon shot.