Repealing and replacing ObamaCare is only one of many things that must now be on the agenda for the Republican Party nationally. There is a long list of policy problems existing at the state and local governmental level that also are in dire need of attention. Let’s focus on one issue in Washington, D.C. – that of “defusing the federal debt bomb.”
Sure, that one is huge. Truth is, though, there are few easy tasks ahead when it comes to the challenges facing the country. Every one of them will require electing a better class of people to office. Once they’re in office, though, the work has only begun.
What will be integral even with future GOP governing majorities will be a Republican Party and countless independent groups enforcing good behavior from those they elected. The key there will be the application of a lot of very basic political mechanics which all focuses on reaching citizens with persuasive information. Then those citizens need to develop the habit of regular communication with their representatives.
Daily we’re bombarded with reports about the fiscal health of the country. What follows are just a few examples of the kinds of news articles that help set the stage for the work that must follow. In the next few articles we’ll outline some of the work ahead in general terms – though the topic will be the specifics for how we need to actually reach voters.
By Michael Pollaro
“It’s not talked about much, at least by mainstream analysts, but make no mistake, it’s a time bomb, locked and loaded, and it’s set to blow the U.S. government’s budget sky high.
That time bomb? The interest cost on the government’s debt.”
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By Monty Pelerin
Virtually every Western democratic government is insolvent. And governments utilized the same practices as General Motors to reach this point.
In GM’s case, poor management was exposed by Honda, Toyota and other foreign competitors. In government’s case, the same poor management provided by Santa Claus politicians provided the damage. They continuously promised and implemented “bread and circuses” that could not be paid for.
Unions played a large role in the failure of GM. Public unions are playing the same role at all levels of government, especially below the Federal level. Around the world they have driven wages, salaries and benefits ahead of the private sector. In the US we hear the stories of police or firemen in some municipalities retiring on more than they made during their highest earning years. It is estimated that state pension programs in the US country are underfunded by $2.5 Trillion. Municipal pension programs are in worse shape.
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A Wall Street Journal Editorial
“It turns out there really is growing inequality in America. It’s the 45% premium in pay and benefits that government workers receive over the poor saps who create wealth in the private economy.
And the gap is growing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), from 1998 to 2008 public employee compensation grew by 28.6%, compared with 19.3% for private workers. In the recession year of 2009, with almost no inflation and record budget deficits, more than half the states awarded pay raises to their employees. Even as deficits in state capitals widen and are forcing cuts in services, few politicians are willing to eliminate these pay inequities that enrich the few who wield political power.”
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By Vincent Carroll
“You could argue that the boost in public-sector employment helped cushion the shock of recession and was thus a good thing. Trouble is…average wages of public employees grew at a pace “well ahead of the private sector” – in part because of hikes established in union contracts – continuing a trend that existed even when the economy was stronger…
In terms of compensation, federal workers are rapidly pulling away from private employees. … And that’s only wages. Federal health, pension and other benefits are worth four times what private workers on average enjoy…”
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By Veronique de Rugy
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©2010 John Francis Biver