Bottom line - GOP knows we are in trouble
Las Vegas - Throughout two hours of bickering, bantering and brouhaha, the 7 front-running conservative candidates for President of the United States of America kept returning to the same theme.
America has an economic problem. The government is deeply in debt to predatory lenders; people are out of work with no hope in sight of finding employment; social issues such as health care and government controls over what is not really government's role to play is crushing the life out of the greatest industrial economic engine in the history of the world.
What to do?
Representative Ron Paul says it's time to cut foreign aid across the board, even to Israel. Spending billions upon billions of dollars on right wing dictatorships that surround that tiny nation has backfired, he said. Besides, “There's nothing in the Constitution that says we should do it...Foreign aid is taking money away from poor people and giving it to rich people in poor nations.”
Cut defense spending by 15%? Mr. Paul responded by saying that “We have an empire we can't afford...I say it's time to come home.” He can't understand why America should keep troops in such far-flung locations as Korea, Japan, Germany and the mideast.
Governor Rick Perry called for defunding the United Nations to the enthusiastic approval of an audience that had roundly booed him throughout the evening's program because of his stand on Governor Mitt Romney's supposedly hiring illegal aliens to do his yard work, and a reported 60% rise in illegal immigration during his tenure as Texas Governor. He shouted down Governor Romney's reply to the accusation that he hired illegal aliens.
Said Mr. Romney after he finally regained the floor, "You have a problem with allowing someone to finish speaking. If you want to be President of the United States, you're going to have to allow others to speak."
It was an interesting aside in view of the recent announcement by Immigration officials, who said they have deported a record number of illegal immigrants during fiscal year 2011 – 397,000, up from 2010's figure of 392,000.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, said the new figures represent more deportations and prosecutions in three years than did President George W. Bush's administration in two terms.
Offenders are allowed to plead guilty and accept deportation without the formality of a court proceeding.
Mr. Perry's ill humor was not unlike that of Senator Rick Santorum, who for the entire length of Mr. Romney's 30 second rebuttal to a statement about illegal immigration shouted the same question over and over. When he finally ceased his obstructive harrassment, he told Mr. Romney, archly, "You're out of time." Moderator Anderson Cooper displayed visible signs of anger, then regained his composure and insisted that Governor Romney be allowed to answer the original question.
The former Senator also accused Mr. Perry, Mr. Romney and Herman Cain of supporting the bail-out legislation known as T.A.R.P., and then engaged in a similar tirade when Governor Perry tried to explain a letter he sent to Congressmen on the day of the vote on the troubled assets relief program.
Mr. Perry promised to bring forth a new program on taxation and government spending later this week while he continued to insist that America's economic problems may be solved by using domestic sources of energy.
“We've got 300 years worth of energy right under our feet and we've got an administration that is blockading our future...Let Americans have energy independence,” he said.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich raised signs of approval in the Venetian Hotel ballroom audience when he insisted that it's ridiculous to expect a Super Committee of Democratic and Republican Representatives and Senators to arrive at trillions of dollars in spending cuts or force the nation to endure an austerity program that will be triggered automatically.
Everyone beat up on Herman Cain's 9, 9, & 9 plan. Mrs. Bachman called it a value-added tax; Governor Perry compared "apples to oranges," according to Mr. Cain, and the rest of the wrecking crew working so hard to strike out President Obama showed little respect for scrapping the federal tax code in favor of an across the board 9% federal income tax with only one deduction available, a 9% corporate income tax and a 9% sales tax - all in addition to state income, sales and excise taxes.
According to the Tax Policy Center, 84% of Americans would pay higher taxes, especially those who earn $30,000 per year or less. Only the extremely wealthy would realize any tax savings.
When it comes to anchor babies, Representative Michelle Bachman insisted that she is not in favor of altering the Constitution to prevent babies born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants from becoming citizens automatically. She said she is looking for a statutory solution to what she sees as out of control spending driven by social programs that act as magnets for illegal immigrants looking for employment, health care and education.
If elected President, she would “enforce” English as the official language of the United States of America. Her comment brought the house down with wild applause and cheering.
None of it would be worth talking about if people were working, accumulating property and wealth, and could make some reasonable assumptions about their expectations of a future that is looking more and more bleak by the day.
Conservative leadership is ill-mannered, loud and rude to each other and the world around them. It's a sign that something is wrong and people – especially conservative politicians looking to make their mark on history - are very insecure about that.