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Use Ike’s Test

September 18, 2009

Use Ike’s Test: Is It Good For America?

By ERNEST S. CHRISTIAN AND GARY A. ROBBINS IBD |16 Sept. 09

Having been so thoroughly duped in the last election, and already frightened by what Mr. Obama is now up to, most Americans have had it with Washington and both political parties as well.

If the citizen uprising succeeds, the next president will not be yet another political entrepreneur — Democrat or Republican — seeking power and privilege for self and party at the expense of others.

Instead, the next president will, in the words of Dwight Eisenhower, have only “one yardstick by which (to) test every major problem — and that yardstick is: Is it good for America?”

What a revolutionary difference he and his yardstick will make — given that nearly the entire federal government presently fails the “good for America” test by a wide margin.

Among Washington’s accomplishments are high taxes, profligate spending, big deficits, mounting foreign debt, an endangered dollar, ruinous unfunded entitlements, a hollowed-out manufacturing sector, a burst housing bubble, a worldwide banking and credit crisis, chronic trade deficits, energy shortages, overpriced health care and college tuition, an over-regulated economy, jobs destruction, the current recession and the prospect of skyrocketing inflation.

Also on the list are dumbed-down schools, declining skill levels, mass illegal immigration, disintegrating cultural unity, reverse racial discrimination, increasing inequality before the law, interference with the free exercise of religion, restrictions on political speech, election fraud and tampering — and a tax code designed to do the maximum amount of collateral damage to the economy per dollar of revenue raised.

If not stopped, government bureaucrats will soon be running hospitals, telling doctors how to practice medicine and deciding who gets what treatment, when or perhaps not at all.

Imagine how good for America it will be when the voters kick out the perpetrators of the mess in Washington — and replace them with a new president who tells the truth and a new Congress made up of citizen-legislators.

The new president and his appointees will come to Washington to serve, not to seek fame and fortune themselves or to make Washington more powerful.

The new members of Congress will work full time attending to the people’s business and, having done so, will go back home to live life as their constituents do. Not for them the life of the catered and coddled.

These new public servants will seek to diminish the power of the government offices they hold — in the belief that a smaller, less- complicated and less-intervening government leads to a bigger, stronger, more prosperous and freer America.

No more wasting trillions of dollars on a vast federal fiefdom that does far more harm than good.

Minimalism, competence and integrity will prevail in the new Washington of the future. Members of Congress will read and understand legislation before they vote on it. The president will make his own decisions and will explain them directly to the American people without the aid of a teleprompter.

The job is not so hard when the mind is concentrated solely on doing what is good for America.

The new president and Congress will also conduct the public’s affairs out in the open. Government’s financial books will be kept in a correct and understandable manner. It will spend money only when the broad public benefit exceeds the cost to the economy of the taxes to pay for the spending.

And at least 60 days before the Congress votes, the speaker of the House will explain that calculation on the Internet for everyone to see, understand and discuss.

Government will no longer seek to run either the economy or the daily lives of the American people. Instead, it will concentrate on making us safe and enforcing the basic rules of honesty and integrity on which our society and its market economy depend for success.

Some of big government’s junior partners in the press have proclaimed that “God is dead” and more recently that “capitalism is dead.” But, contrary to their expectations, neither is the case.

Instead, it is big government that is in its latter days.

The era of big government will soon be over — and the new era of the individual is beginning anew. Starting with the midterm congressional elections next year and culminating in the election of the new president, We the People will reclaim control of our own country.

In the meantime, “like an old lion dying,” the federal government is extremely dangerous and must be watched carefully.

• Christian, an attorney, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury in the Ford administration.

• Robbins, an economist, served in the Treasury Department during the Reagan administration.

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