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Richard Viguerie: GOP can’t reform entitlements from the House

By Richard A. Viguerie -- 5/26/11

As the recent special election in New York’s 26th congressional district shows, Democrats will demagogue entitlement reform for political reasons, and are willing to permanently damage America in the process.  This is sad for America.  It’s pathetic politics.

On Lou Dobbs' television show this week I explained the problem.  House conservatives are attempting to act responsibly about Medicare and other entitlement reform.  The entire GOP, -- from Congress, the party apparatus, governors, etc. -- haven’t done enough, however, to educate the American people about the seriousness of the link between entitlement reform and our country’s economic problems.

Medicare reform will need to wait until after a national discussion of our debt spending, explaining how anti-business laws and regulations contribute to the crisis, addressing crony politics and violations of the rule of law -- and the 2012 elections.

It’s the GOP’s own fault.  For years this crisis has been coming to a head, yet the GOP failed to make serious efforts to thwart it when they controlled the House, Senate and White House half of the last decade.

The sky was falling then, but they failed to start the process of leadership:  first by telling Americans about the seriousness of the problem, then by beginning the debate on the best and most acceptable solutions.  

Instead, they kept on spending, and even outspent Democrats up until then.  The GOP took the crony politics and corruption of Democrats and simply added their own style to it.  

Instead of starting the process of addressing problems that took decades to make, and thus will take years to fix, they made the problems worse with Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind and other big-government programs that expanded the national debt.

How can the GOP now expect Americans to believe them that the sky really is falling?

For 80 years or so, Democrats have used seniors issues in most political campaigns to bash Republicans as anti-senior citizen.  They painted Republicans as eager to throw Grandma out in the snow, and willing to unplug Grandpa’s oxygen machine.

The GOP therefore has decades of Democratic embedded demagoguery to overcome.  Many Americans have a knee-jerk reaction against the motives of the GOP with regard to seniors.  Republicans’ own head-in-the-sand, big-government policies during the Tom DeLay, Dennis Hastert, Bill Frist and George W. Bush years only made it worse.

In other words, Republicans have a credibility problem.  Democrats know that, and will take full advantage of it in the 2012 elections unless the GOP shifts ground -- and quickly -- on Medicare and other entitlement reform.

There’s an old maxim in marketing:  You can’t sell what people aren’t already willing to buy.  Today, the majority of Americans don’t know that entitlement programs will bankrupt the country.

The GOP has some ‘splainin to do’ before Americans are willing to follow them to real entitlement reform.  Thanks more to Tea Party activists than to GOP elected officials, Americans are beginning to focus on our financial crisis.

Good leaders are willing to charge the hill, but never too far ahead of their troops.  The GOP hasn’t yet done enough to convince a majority of voters of the need for entitlement reform.

And, if Republicans don’t quickly change strategies, they will snatch defeat from an almost-certain big 2012 election victory.

Richard A. Viguerie is chairman of ConservativeHQ.com

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why entitlements...go for the Pentagon

Why does neither party aggressively strike at Pentagon spending/waste....war upon undeclared war? ...or go for auditing and then abolishing the Federal Reserve, the IRS? I bekueve they would see quite a public appetite for these pursuits. Eliminating the FED alone would realize fast deposit of $4T into the budget, that is according to last week's Fed report of available funds. We've gained insight to how the Fed makes use of OUR income tax as it lands directly into their private bankers' pockets. In recent weeks their 2008 spending on foreign banks and other whimsical loans, not funding the American economy in the crisis, was exposed. However, the royal wedding followed almost immediately in the news cycle by that timely discovery, death, and rapid burial-at-sea captured the public's attention and nearly obliterated the Fed story. The fear around approaching Pentagon budgets and addressing the obvious mishandling and worse by the FED is palpable. How can we get to the crux of the issue and cut in the places where a great public reception awaits action by the Congress and the whole of government? More insight to the public can be had by looking at the many state's putsuing court actions to regain freedom from the federal government and the tyranny of the FED, the private central bank in the midst of all our financial woes. Look at both UT and SC moving toward hard money that will compete- and win against- federal reserve notes, aka the dollar. These states are not alone in considering hard currency. The States will reveal attitudes. nurtured in and arising from the American people. The GOP could pay attention and follow. these revelations from the States, but do you think they will? ...and if not, why not???

Entitlements and the dilemma facing the GOP

As the first two comments have noted, first the government is not anybody's friend and if people have not learned this by now, they still wont have learned by 2012. The second talks about what has been paid into the system for many years now by hard working Americans only to have the federal government spend it away like drunken sailors. Both comments have valid points but why are we taking a defeatist attitude? Richard Viguerie is correct in his op-ed in that if it werent for the Tea Party then Americans would still be blithely going about their daily business with their heads still in the sand and either not acknowledging the fiscal crisis we are in or continuing to be uneducated about it. Thanks to the Tea Party, alot of Americans are finally waking up and facing the situation head on so what is to say that we cannot educate more people before the 2012 elections. Are we just going to lie down and roll over after all of the hard work we have put in for the last two years pulling off the biggest political upset in American history? The Tea Party must become even more vocal than they have been. We must continue to uncover and debunk the myths that both political parties have put to the American people for too long.

Regarding the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. If anyone doesnt understand that there isnt any such animal, then I cannot have sympathy for them. Where the heck do they think government has gotten the money it's been spending? Sure as heck not through the once yearly mugging we suffer on April 15th. And why must we wait until after the election to tackle this problem. Whether it is suicidal or not for Republicans, it is time as Mr. Viguerie pointed out that they change course and they must do so immediately. The only way that they are going to be creditable with their base and with independents is to do what they promised to do before the 2010 election. Cut spending, reform entitlements and reduce the size of government. They cannot try to brush this aside with excuses that they dont have the majority in the Senate and dont have the White House. It doesnt matter, they still must bring the bills to the floor and force the votes in order to build the ammunition they will need. They must do a better job of educating the public on what it is they are trying to do. It baffles me that very few Reps or Senators are holding any townhalls. They should be talking to their constituents every time they go home. I dont care if it's every weekend that they have to schedule a townhall, they need to do it. The RNC, NRCC, and every conservative think tank should be putting out advertising explaining what the legislation is about, flooding facebook and youtube. I'm not a finance major, I'm not a college graduate, but I read Paul Ryan's Path to Prosperity and it's very well laid out and quite easy to understand. It makes the case, so why run and then try to backtrack after an election where they are going to get slaughtered if they dont stand up to the Democrats once and for all. Every Republican and Independent should be on the phone, fax or sending emails to their Representatives and Senators demanding that they stand firm and that they take the bull by the horns and educate the people and quit worrying about re-election which I can guarantee isnt going to happen if they dont start doing what they promised.

NY district 26 special election

If the pepople have not yet learned that government is not their friend, that indeed it is their mortal or at least fiscal enemy, then they will not have learned it in 2012, especially since itwas mostly Repub's under the two Bushes who so badly screwed up domestic policies.

That means, God help us, Obama will get another 4 years in office in '12

Entitlements - Your Money Stolen

Yep, what they are calling entitlements is the money you've paid into social security and medicare during you lifetime of work.   The reason you paid it was it was to be your government protected retirement and government stole it.  Modifying it means they spent it all and now want you to pay more/longer (and hope you die before collecting)....so they can cover what they spent and/or are planning to spend.  Then once again they will take it, and you will have nothing.

As for medicaid/welfare, because the government, banksters, and wall street looted and pillaged your 401k's and investments, the money sucked out of the economy caused mass unemployment, closure of many businesses, and widespread foreclosures.  Since the jobs aren't there then more people have to depend of welfare programs or/and face foreclosure/homelessness.  Since this would also mean starvation and mass hardship, revolution/rebellion could easily follow on it's heals.  Then the socialists could claim to be saviors and take control, thus eliminating this Republic for good.

First we must regain prosperity, then we can look at domestic modifications.  To do so now would be suicidial.  The cuts need to come from the hundreds of government agencies, over 140 military bases in foreign countries, the looting by the banksters and wall street, and the massive foreign aid give aways.  Not taking away more from the people.