Tuesday, August 2, 2011

So What Happens After This Debt Crisis?

Now that the current debt crisis is over what happens next with the budget debate? I would suspect that most citizens anticipate a return to the status quo, gridlock of the political process. However, with an election next year I would suspect that the current debt issues to remain at the fore-front of political debates.

This could be an opportunity for both political parties to reconcile what role the government should be playing in the United States. It is important to remember that the shared ideology of all citizens in the United States is the belief in personal liberty for all individuals. Ideally the role of government should be to protect the liberties of citizens and to insure that all people have equal access to liberty. This concept was the pinnacle of our founding fathers belief as they drafted the constitution. It was how the new government would protect and promote personal liberty that sparked the fieriest debates. The debate has never subsided and the United States once again is in embroiled in a battle over the role of government.

What needs to be understood is that both sides of the debate have very valid points but lost in the argument is the concept of how government protects liberty. It is clear that the government has grown far too large to be effective in our society. With all of the laws to promote one group over another through tax breaks or business deals and ignoring the main mission of government has lead to an inefficient system buried in debt. Clearly our government goes past its effective parameters but that does not mean every part of the government needs to be cut. This seems to be were misunderstanding and anger is most prevalent in our politics.

Conservatives want less government but promote a large military. The military has a roll to protect the United States but it spends more that the top 10 militaries of the world combined. It would seem logical that we could easily cut military spending without exposing the United States to a foreign aggressor. Democrats want more social insurance programs such as healthcare and social security. The problem is that often these programs go past insurance for citizens to promising standards of living and taking away citizens voice in the purchasing process of healthcare.

These are just two examples of the current arguments in Washington. Both revolve around the role of the government service and its size. The government has a role in defense, social security and healthcare but few will disagree that all of them have gone past protecting the personal liberty of citizens and ensuring they have access to that liberty. It is in the excess of its role that the government becomes bloated and unwieldy. Focusing on the role of each government service and if it is overstepping its boundary is critical to personal liberty and access to that liberty.

As the new election process starts let us hope that the discussion revolves around the role of government and how to find a way to streamline that role and cut the excess. The issue of debt and spending will be resolved as a byproduct of conscience evaluation of our government services.

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