Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Year's Resolutions

Following are several resolutions that the politicians in Washington would be wise in keeping to as the New Year dawns upon Congress. When the recess is over and the men and women of Capitol Hill return to their work, perhaps they should quit the incessant bickering that resembles playground arguments of our kindergarten days and do something useful for this country.

Congressmen Mike Pence (R-IN) and James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) have been working hard from their posts at the helm of important groups (Pence and the conservative caucus, the Republican Study Committee (RSC), Sensenbrenner and the House Judiciary Committee). The former gathered his group of some one hundred-plus conservatives in the House and put together the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which was added to S. 1932 in mid-November by Rep. Jim Nussle (R-IA), a member of the RSC and chairman of the House Budget Committee.

The latter, Rep. Sensenbrenner, has been one of the busiest men on Capitol Hill throughout calendar year 2005, introducting 55 pieces of legislation which include four resolutions and twelve amendments. Two of these include the Children's Safety Act of 2005 and the Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2005. Both bills sped through the House in a couple months, received 370-plus votes, and got stuck in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Meanwhile, that committee's chairman, Arlen Specter (R-PA) is trying to get buildings named after himself.

The former bill would reform the system that tracks and punishes sexual offenders while the latter would alleviate public concern over the Kelo decision in the U.S. Supreme Court this summer. As a result of the Senate's inaction, communities across the nation continue to abuse their new "right" to steal private property from their residents, and sexual offenders continue to live near children and roam the streets with little monitoring.

Instead of fighting for their constituents, many in Congress continue to fight for their own selfish interests. They continuously argue about when Bush should call back troops, or if he should use a timetable. They whine about the rights of terrorists and illegal immigrants even though the monikers they carry should dissuade anyone from helping them in the first place. The former wants nothing more than to destroy our way of life, and the latter is in this country illegally, hence they are criminals. Nevertheless, politicians argue that they have rights too and simply want a place to work and live. Well if that's the case, boot them the hell out and tell them to become LEGAL immigrants! It's a simple concept, really.

Therefore, I propose a few resolutions for Congress to follow when they reconvene in a few weeks:
  1. Stop arguing and do something. The more you argue about Iraq, the less you accomplish. In the months since debate has reached a boiling point, has President Bush given Democrats anything they've asked for? No, and he will not budge no matter what they say or do. So I propose that they give it up and get down to business.
  2. Pass the tax-rate cut extension in the Senate. The pro-growth tax-rate cuts have boosted the economy into regions of prosperity foreign to even the economic genious, Bill Clinton. Furthermore, in the two and a half years since Bush signed them into law, the tax-rate cuts have increased tax revenues fiscal year after fiscal year. This proves that according to the Laffer Curve, we should be concerned about lowering them even more. But first things first; extend the current plan.
  3. Confirm Samuel Alito as the next Justice of the Supreme Court. As long as deliberations continue in the Senate, that notorious fence-sitter Sandra Day O'Connor will continue to sit in the seat she gave up in July. There is nothing to fear from Alito. He will not single-handedly reverse Roe v. Wade just because he once said wives should notify husbands if they want to abort their kids (mind you it's NOTIFY, not GET PERMISSION, and only if it is the husband's child).
  4. Support the war or not, whichever you prefer. However, support the troops by not calling them terrorists and saying they will fail. The troops need to know that they aren't fighting for a lost cause as was the case in Vietnam. Oh don't get me wrong, Vietnam wasn't lost by the troops, it was lost by the politicians. If the Democrats controlled Congress, we would be losing or not even be in Iraq. The troops need encouragement and they need to hear that we believe they're doing a great job, not that they are myrmidons for an evil administration bent on imperialism.
  5. Confront the growing crises that are Medicare and Social Security. Hell, in a perfect world they wouldn't exist. But this isn't such a place, so we must do our best to reform these crippled entitlement programs. Both will, if left alone, drain the economy of trillions (not billions) of dollars in mere decades. The situation resembles a crack in a dam. At first the problem isn't so bad, a little water seeps out now and then. However as time passes, more cracks appear as the integrity of the structure is compromised. Soon, water is constantly pouring out of holes all over the dam, and ultimately the entire structure will cave from within. The dam represents this economy, and the crack represents the problems we face with Medicare and Social Security. If we don't fix them soon, America will become what China is and may not be for long: developing.
  6. Abandon protectionism. If Senator Schumer's (D-NY) tariff on Chinese goods goes through, consumer prices will skyrocket. There's a reason free trade works in a market economy. Competition is at its best when there are no impediments. If you take away cheap Chinese goods, the average price for consumer products will skyrocket. It's like trying to benefit American carmakers by putting a tariff on cheap Korean-made cars like Kia. Passing DR-CAFTA this summer was one of the biggest accomplishments this session. With Costa Rica representing the only party yet to agree to the treaty, it represents a big step for free trade in the region.
There are probably many more things that Congress could do, but the six listed above are vitally important to maintaining the strength and prosperity of this nation.

That said, I wish everyone the happiest of New Years. Enjoy the night, but most importantly, be safe and be respectful.


Travis J. Hankins said...

Great post my friend! Like Pence said, "The American people want fiscal discipline for Christmas!" and they need it for the new year of 2006. Let's continue to push our conservative leaders to get the job done in '06.

PS. Nussle is not a member of the RSC.

Tim said...

Intelligent suggestions. Each of your points especially regarding the tax cuts and protectionism are extremely important to a strong US economy in the future.