Saturday, February 12, 2011
The Brightest New Star Of The GOP?
We Hoosiers hold to some quaint notions. Some might say we “cling” to them, though not out of fear or ignorance. We believe in paying our bills. We have kept our state in the black throughout the recent unpleasantness, while cutting rather than raising taxes, by practicing an old tribal ritual – we spend less money than we take in.
We believe it wrong ever to take a dollar from a free citizen without a very necessary public purpose, because each such taking diminishes the freedom to spend that dollar as its owner would prefer. When we do find it necessary, we feel a profound duty to use that dollar as carefully and effectively as possible, else we should never have taken it at all.
When business leaders ask me what they can do for Indiana, I always reply: “Make money. Go make money. That’s the first act of 'corporate citizenship.'" If you do that, you’ll have to hire someone else, and you’ll have enough profit to help one of those non-profits we’re so proud of.”
We place our trust in average people. We are confident in their ability to decide wisely for themselves, on the important matters of their lives.
We believe in government that is limited but active. Within that narrow sphere of legitimate collective action, we choose to be the initiators of new ideas or, as we have labeled ourselves, the Party of Purpose. In President Reagan’s phrase, “We are the change.” On election nights, we remind each other that victory is not a vindication, it is an instruction, not an endorsement, but an assignment.
We face an enemy, lethal to liberty, and even more implacable than those America has defeated before. We cannot deter it; there is no countervailing danger we can pose. We cannot negotiate with it, any more than with an iceberg or a Great White.
I refer, of course, to the debts our nation has amassed for itself over decades of indulgence. It is the new Red Menace, this time consisting of ink.
If a foreign power advanced an army to the border of our land, everyone in this room would drop everything and look for a way to help. We would set aside all other agendas and disputes as secondary, and go to the ramparts until the threat was repelled. That is what those of us here, and every possible ally we can persuade to join us, are now called to do. It is our generational assignment. It is the mission of our era. Forgive the pun when I call it our “raison debt.”
The health care travesty now on the books will engulf private markets and produce a single-payer system or its equivalent, and it won’t take long to happen.
Our morbidly obese federal government needs not just behavior modification but bariatric surgery. The perverse presumption that places the burden of proof on the challenger of spending must be inverted, back to the rule that applies elsewhere in life: “Prove to me why we should.”
Within a few years, we will be spending more on interest payments than on national security. That is not, as our military friends say, a “robust strategy.”
We don’t have a prayer of defeating the Red Threat of our generation without a long boom of almost unprecedented duration. Every other goal, however worthy, must be tested against and often subordinated to actions that spur the faster expansion of the private sector on which all else depends.
Americans have seen these last two years what doesn’t work. The failure of national economic policy is costing us more than jobs; it has begun to weaken that uniquely American spirit of risk-taking, large ambition, and optimism about the future. We must rally them now to bold departures that rebuild our national morale as well as our material prosperity.
Drill, and frack, and lease, and license, unleash in every way the jobs potential in the enormous energy resources we have been denying ourselves. And help our fellow citizens to understand that a poorer country will not be a greener country, but its opposite. It is freedom and its fruits that enable the steady progress we have made in preserving and protecting God’s kingdom.
Americans, in a vast majority, are still a people born for self-governance. They are ready to summon the discipline to pay down our collective debts as they are now paying down their own; to put the future before the present, their children’s interest before their own.