The President Finally asked the Question
At yesterday’s press conference, President Barack Obama finally said something I have been waiting for any politician or leader to ask. One of the shared beliefs between the Republican Party and the Tea Party movement is that they want a smaller government. While that sounds nice, he finally asked, “What will you cut?”
It’s one thing to say “I want lower taxes and smaller government” but no candidate today has really come out to tell us what they intend to do. On the local level, two of Fairfield’s three state representative districts have Republican challengers whose rhetoric comes straight from the GOP playbook. They have both decried the budget deficits in Hartford but are calling for smaller government and lower taxes without once enumerating what they would do to solve either problem.
As it is the Tea Party is a cause in search of a structure so some members of the party have advocated eliminated the Environmental Protection Agency and the departments of Energy and Education. The Tea Party, at least some chapters, strongly belief in state’s rights and want management of these areas returned to the state level.
One question I think should be asked of every candidate who says they want smaller government is exactly how small? One reason the federal government has grown so large (and yes bloated in spots, cumbersome in others) is because state shave proven ineffective at managing.
After all, one example I can use is the Race to the Top. The White House dangled millions in education aid, but only if states raised the bar on educational standards and demanded better accountability from the faculty. Our country’s children will benefit as a result, but the states didn’t decide to do this for themselves.
Would the Republicans and Tea Party advocates really want the government to stop testing drugs before they go to market or inspecting farms before produce is sold to consumers? Should manufacturers and financial institutions really have to conform to as many as 50 different state standards of conduct? What would that wind up costing us?
On the subject of taxes and the deficit, I have yet to hear our state rep candidates or federal politicians actually present plans to deal with the deficit (and the looming time bomb of social security).
How on earth can a voter properly decided between candidates if all they hear is lower taxes? Sure it sounds good, but dig deeper. Ask the questions they hope you won’t because then they have to commit themselves. Here in Connecticut, Senatorial candidate Linda McMahon (of the WWE empire), has told the press she didn’t want to get into specific programs during a campaign so we have no idea how to judge her positions against her opponent, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.
Wherever you live, please, ask the questions and don’t let them sidestep you. Get them to commit so they can be judged, and if elected, held accountable.