By George Radanovich, Former California Congressman, served 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives
The stakes are even higher now. The federal credit card is maxed out and our status in the world is at stake. And while Republicans, particularly in the House of Representatives, are fighting nobly to stop government overspending, no one in their leadership will answer the question, “What should government no longer do on the path to smaller government?”
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is a champion of Constitutional conservatism, anti-Keynesian in his economics, budget savvy and in full knowledge of the historical abuse of the Welfare Clause of our Constitution in the cause of expanding government. But, as reflected in his budget that has been endorsed by many of his colleagues, Republicans propose to spend less on everything and in the end, propose nothing more than a “liberal lite” approach to less government. In responding to the question, “what should government no longer do,” they say government will continue to do everything it does today, just less of it.
In the challenge of achieving a smaller federal government, one that is more constitutionally sound, why aren’t we seeking to eliminate those programs created by the Constitutional manipulation that began during the FDR era and opened the door to government expansion never intended by the founding fathers?
Today’s Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, all of them, operate within a socialist view. Eighty years of socialism in the world -- communism, fascism and its American cousin, liberal progressivism -- have left even conservatives thinking like socialists. This “liberal lite” approach to smaller government is a prescription for anarchy in America and second-rate status in the world.
America’s domestic war is not between Democrats and Republicans, or liberals and conservatives. It is between the dying worldview of socialism and a new world view as yet undefined by anyone.
It is said that the first and most important quality of leadership is vision. It is clear that President Obama’s Hope and Change vision is socialism. He carries the banner of FDR’s cradle-to-grave government care, a vision that has left America with crumbling social institutions and a government near bankruptcy. An increasing number of Americans are realizing this old vision is not working any more, if it ever did.
Unfortunately, the Republicans challenging President Obama are visionless. They talk about jobs, which of course is our immediate priority. Beyond that they seem to be relying on the implementation of the principles that, in the 1990’s, helped balance the budget AND finance cradle-to-grave socialism. This is no longer possible. Increasing government revenue through free markets, less regulation and economic expansion is inadequate to cover the relentless onslaught of entitlement spending. We are way beyond that now.
Republicans must produce a leader who will usher in a new vision; a new world view strong enough to root out decades of embedded socialist thought. He or she must believe and clearly state that the other institutions of America were much stronger before cradle-to-grave socialism undermined society and created an enormous dependency class. Americans must be inspired and rise to a new level of expectation as citizens in order to restore the institutions of faith, family and work in this great country and reduce the influence of a failing federal government.
A vision that restores our crumbling institutions left in the wake of liberal progressivism makes obvious what government should no longer do. Sadly, when it comes to defining this new world view, this new vision for America, there isn’t a lit bulb among the Democratic or Republican leadership.
Former California Congressman George Radanovich served 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives until his 2010 retirement. He was president of the House Freshman Republican Class of 1994. Radanovich recently established The Four Institutions foundation (www.fourinstitutions.com) and published “The New World Order is the Old World Order.”