Political feasibility is defined as the extent to which officials and policymakers are willing to accept and support a particular piece of public policy. Political feasibility is but one of many criteria we use when examining public policy, but it is arguably the most critical of them all. Without political feasibility, policy proposals will not possess the backing necessary to be signed into law, regardless of any other criteria we may use to examine the policy; the proposal may be effective, efficient, and technically feasible, but if it fails to garner the necessary votes, these criteria are all for naught. _Source
Totally logical. Why then do I say that “politically feasible” is an American curse? Because it seems to me that since 1913 the only things politically feasible have been to grow the federal government and move it toward socialism. Apparently there has never been a time when it has been politically feasible to make government smaller or to undo the socialist structural changes in the federal government. The most logical explanation for this phenomena is that TPTB of both parties support an ever bigger more powerful central government.
Let’s review some of the highlights of how our federal government grew into the all-powerful monster that it is today.
1.) The year 1913 was a pivotal year in the dismantling of our republic. Under our first socialist elitist president, Woodrow Wilson, and after several failed attempts by banking interest to establish a central bank, it was finally politically feasible to create the Federal Reserve. It also became politically feasible to strip the states of their representation in the central government by convincing people it would be better for Senators to be elected directly by the people. this was accomplished when the 17th Amendment was passed.Dut, the most damaging accomplishment of the Wilson regime was to convince people to pass the 16th Amendment. If it is possible for a constitutional amendment to be unconstitutional, this is it. If you would like to know more about just how devastating the income tax has been to individual rights and to sates rights, there is a mini-book (pfd) at Mises.org titled The Income Tax: Root of all Evil that you can bookmark and read at your leisure. It will only take about an hour of your time. (H/T to Tony Fernàndez of the Beer, Gun, and Baseball blog)
2.) The Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration. Under FDR it was politically feasible to create the Social Security Act to aid the elderly in their retirement. This program would expand over the years placing an ever-increasing burden on successive generations until it has become totally unsustainable.
3.) The Lyndon B. Johnson Administration. During the time of LBJ it was politically feasible to saddle us with Medicare and a myriad of welfare programs under his War on Poverty. Medicare like Social Security is also unsustainable.
4.) The Richard M. Nixon Administration. Besides breaking the last connection to the Gold Standard, Nixon blessed us with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). What may have been a good idea in the beginning, the EPA has grown into the most economically oppressive regulatory agency that one could imagine.
4.) The William J. Clinton Administration. Bill Clinton will go down in history as the president that caused the 2008 financial collapse that we still suffer from today. Under Clinton it was politically feasible to use the Community Reinvestment Act from the Jimmy Carter era as a springboard and give the Affordable Housing Act, which allowed unqualified people to buy homes.. It was also politically feasible to revoke the Glass-Stegall Act removing regulations on the banking industry. With cooperation of the Federal Reserve supply low interest rates, the housing bubble and the sub-prime mortgage bubble were born.
5.) The George W. Bush Administration. This big government elitist found it politically feasible to burden us with Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind. After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, he found it politically feasible to take away our 4th Amendment rights with the Patriot Act, which spawned Homeland Security and the TSA. Then when Bill Clinton’s housing and sub-prime mortgage bubble burst, Bush found it politically feasible to bail out banks and other entities with the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
6.) Because of the financial collapse of 2008, it was politically feasible to elect the country’s first Marxist president, Barack H. Obama. With control of both houses of Congress, Obama was able to pass the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which was not politically feasible. It was, however, politically feasible to pass bureaucratic nightmare known as Dodds-Frank.
So, I repeat what I said at the beginning of this post: it seems for nearly 100 years the only thing that has been politically feasible is to expand the size and the power and the cost of the federal government at the expense of the rights and power fo the states and the people. To my knowledge, there has never been an attempt to build a politically feasible case for restricting the growth and power and cost of the federal government. No of TPTB, Republican or Democrat has ever wanted to change this pattern.
Now, I should probably end this post right here. But, there is one more point I want to cover.
Our country is in a very delicate and dangerous position right now. G.W. Bush went on a wild spending spree and added trillions to our national debt over his eight year term. Obama, not to be out done, increased our debt by the same amount in just over three years, We will be adding over a trillion dollars per to our debt for the forseeable future. Last week, in this post, I warned of debt bomb that is ticking. No one, in my opinion, is trying to make a political feasible case for defusing the debt bomb. Defusing the debt bomb means paying down the debt.
Some people belive that Pau Ryan’s plan will save America. I do not agree. Paul Ryan I believe is one of the few good people in Washington. He does understand the risk our country is in right now. However, he has put forth a plan that he thinks might be politically feasible but is does nothing to defuse the debt bomb. I am not alone in my opinion. I owe a big hat tip to Pat Slattery of The Free Market Project blog for the link to this article by Stephan Green at the Vodkapundit blog at PJ Media. This is an exceptionally good article that you should think of as a must read. In this article, Mr. Green responds to a comment from an earlier post where the commenter laid out a good analysis of why Paul Ryan’s plan could save america. Mr. Green explains that under normal times he wold agree with the commenter; but these are not normal times. I very much agree with Mr. Greens conclusion:
So the problem isn’t balancing the budget by 2040, or 2027 or even tomorrow. The problem is, we need to start paying down the debt, and we need to do it very soon. Because thanks to our World’s Biggest and Dumbest Adjustable Rate Mortgage, we’re about to have a debt payment that’s bigger than our defense budget, that’s bigger than Social Security, that’s bigger than Medicare/Medicaid.
The only other options are default, or hyperinflation. Or, perhaps most likely: Both. Either results in the immediate destruction of our economy as we’ve known it. Say hello to your house that’s worth nothing, and gas you can’t afford.
So that’s our problem. That’s the brick wall we’re running into head first. Obama’s non-plan runs us into the wall sooner. Ryan’s plan gets us there a little later. But we’re still going to crash into that wall if we don’t start paying down the debt, and paying it down in a big way.
So, if no one ever makes the case for defusing the debt bomb, how will we ever know what is politically feasible? I’m not blaming Paul Ryan. He does not have the power and prestige or the financial where-with-all to carry on such a campaign alone. It would take the united effort of the Republican Party and their resources to make such a case. That is not going to happen. TPTB of the GOP would rather protect their precious positions of power for as long as they can, than do what is right for America.
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?