More of the Same…With a Twist

In last year’s Budget Control Act, $2.1 trillion in deficit reduction policies over a ten-year period were enacted. Rather than a serious, substantive attempt to at least reduce America’s enormous deficits, the Act took a hodgepodge of bad policies and put them into place. Then Congress took this hodgepodge and made each policy’s impact so small that while specific, individual programs and departments would be hit hard the fiscal future of the nation would barely be improved.

Of course, now comes word that Congress may delay most of the Budget Control Act’s cuts and all of the coming tax increases that are supposed to kick in on January 1, 2013 until March of that year. Once again, Congress considers kicking the can down the road rather than take political risk in an election year, regardless of the consequences for the country.

The one good thing that may come out of this debacle is that next March comes after November. While the Republican Party as a whole is not a conservative party, and Mitt Romney is definitely a centrist-right candidate for President, the fact is that both Romney and the GOP may be forced into becoming more conservative by conservative activists if they are allowed to hold the legislative and executive branches of power. Conservatives like me who are uncertain if we will vote for Romney because of his “tinker around the edges” approach to policy may change our minds if Romney comes out and says he will go above and beyond the Budget Control Act, the doctor reimbursement cuts and all of the tax increases that would be delayed until March. Instead of the semi-random, haphazard policy changes set for next year, Romney could come out with a strong, substantive series of policy changes. With scores of billions in spending reductions and over $400 billion in tax increases scheduled to be enacted in January, a March delay could give Romney and the GOP the time they need to solidify their credentials as spending and tax reformers, and go above and beyond the provisions that are currently written into law.

All of this is not meant to say I think Romney and the GOP will conduct the above actions – merely that congressional ineptitude and self-centered election concerns could actually be good for the country if establishment Republicans recognize the opportunity to be the party of true, lasting, positive conservative change. In the meantime, I’ll start stocking up on Ramen Noodles and await the coming fiscal collapse.

[Originally posted at]

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