Those of you who read my occasional posts know I don’t get into political rants on this blog.  Whilst I do have strong opinions on the state of the world, our country and local communities, I generally don’t find it productive to get into shouting matches online.  I’m primarily an entrepreneur and I do business with people all over the world with many political views.  I don’t see politics as a screen for commerce.  This country and indeed most successful countries are built on the backs of individuals who take risks and build businesses. I feel very patriotic when I start a new business and work to create value for shareholders, employees and customers.  I don’t want the government to help me with my businesses, but I ABSOLUTELY  don’t want them in the way either.  Uncertainty on healthcare and tax policy has caused me to not hire several positions in the past months.  I have instead paid outside firms to do some of the work that would be done by our own employees.  I will continue on this path as long as possible.

Alas, given the current state of the US Budget and the latest one submitted by the Obama Administration, and the general lack of what I would view as seriousness in Washington, I am moved to comment here.  The long term government share of US GDP has now expanded to an unsustainable level and I see no willingness to deal with this by making hard choices.  They call economics the “dismal science” for a reason.  It is about trade offs and choices.  One can’t have it all.  Government cannot simply continue to take productive resources (private) and shift them to largely unproductive uses (government spending) and expect good results.  GOVERNMENT is not the answer, it is a significant part of the problem.  I was one of the independent minded libertarian leaning conservatives who was so upset with the growth in spending in the Bush Administration.

But instead of correcting this course, President Obama and the Congress have actually made it much much worse.  The trajectory is horrendous.  How can anyone who is serious actually think it is okay to support such unsustainable spending and frankly a shift to the next generation of the responsibility to pay for it all.  #LEADERSHIPNOT #FAIL.  Wake up.  The Republicans as a whole don’t “deserve” to be in leadership either based on their record over the past decade, they lost their way.    Bush to his credit did TRY to make Social Security reform a major tenant at the beginning of term II, but he got stopped by his own party and then they started losing elections.  He also did not seem to know how to veto anything and went along with the expansion of government, so he does not deserve any credit here.

There are exceptions.   I was heartened to read about Rep Paul Ryan’s well thought out budget proposal to close the gap.  Here is a clip I found in the Washington Post discussing it:

Rep. Paul Ryan’s daring budget proposal

ryanflips.JPGThe White House’s 2011 budget is only the second-most interesting budget proposal released recently. First prize goes to Congressman Paul Ryan, the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, who’s released a budget proposal that actually erases the massive long-term deficit.

That’s not mere press release braggadocio. CBO agrees (pdf). Under the CBO’s likeliest long-term scenario, deficits are at 42 percent of GDP in 2080. Under Ryan’s proposal, we’re seeing surpluses of 5 percent of GDP by that time….  FULL ARTICLE HERE

My question is (as was asked by one of my friends on Facebook when I posted it on my page)

“Problem is that I haven’t even seen the GOP provide support for it. It’s like they are afraid of it being successful or something. I give props to the guy for actually giving it serious thought and working through a tough proposal. Wish more of our elected officials thought that was part of their job.”

So what gives… why haven’t we heard a lot more about this?  why are the Republican leaders on the talk shows talking about this budget?  Why don’t they get behind it?  Are they?

I say vote out anyone who does not actually work to fix this problem.  Elect only those who actually commit to closing the gap. HERE IS THE PLATFORM:  Shrink spending now, fix entitlements (Yes Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security at the Federal level and Public sector pensions at the State level), get government out of the way.  If you want to “fix” healthcare, shift to a consumer oriented system where we have a direct connection to choices we make and what it costs us.

[Healthcare Aside: I moved our companies to Health Savings Accounts a few years ago and have had great experience with this as a positive factor.  If everyone had HSAs and we created a safety net for catastrophic coverage for all, we would change behavior and create competition in the health market.]

On Entitlements:  You don’t run away from this, actually stand up and run on it.  Create a mandate.   You don’t need to touch any entitlement that is already in action (ie if you are already retired), simply change the deal for all of us who are still working and phase it in.  If you are 60, keep it as is.  If you are 50, you can’t get benefits until 70 years old.  If you are 40 or below, make it 75 and let us invest part of OUR money directly.  Seriously, stop the madness.

Oh, and we are at war with a relentless enemy…

Is anyone serious in Washington?

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