The United States needs to restore the basic principles of the Founding Fathers and President Ronald Reagan’s small-government ideals to pull itself out of its quagmire of inefficiency, stagnation, and corruption, political analyst John Fund tells Newsmax.TV.
And the founders would have would have been appalled at the idea of appointing a supercommittee to solve the country’s economic morass, said Fund, who likened the panel to a “committee dictatorship.”
The supercommittee, which is struggling with the dismal prospect of creating a plan to cut $1.2 trillion by Thanksgiving eve, is an ill-advised attempt at a solution, he said.
“I think the supercommittee was a mistake, for two reasons: One is I think it’s an abrogation of Congress’s responsibility to make these decisions by itself,” the former Wall Street Journal columnist said in the exclusive interview with Newsmax.
In addition, he said, the Founding Fathers didn’t intend for such a move, in which 535 politicians have delegated their power to a committee of 12.
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“I think if Congress is not up to the job of making the cuts and making the adjustments that we need,” then the country needs a new Congress, Fund said.
The only way the supercommittee would have succeeded would have been if Republicans had agreed to tax increases and the Democrats had agreed to spending cuts, he said. The problem with such a tack, he said, is that tax increases go into effect immediately, but the spending cuts are delayed and ultimately get lost in the shuffle.
“Ronald Reagan wrote in his diary, after he left the White House, that the biggest mistake I made was signing on to tax increases early and never getting the spending cuts I was promised.”
The biggest thing conservatives can do is hold Congress to the pledge against new taxes from Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, he said.
“Does anyone really believe that we can’t cut the federal government by 5 percent if we really had to?” he said. “Of course we can. States have done it. Cities have done it. That’s really all it would take to get that level of spending cuts that you’re referring to, because they’re not that draconian.”
“I’m a firm believer that a lot of government spending is either wasted, or it could be done more productively in the private sector, or it represents programs that don’t have a day-to-day impact on the American people,” Fund said.
The Founding Fathers divided power among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, as well as to the states and the people themselves, Fund said. The country should follow that model of dividing power and influence, and keeping government small, he said.
“What we should do is recognize that government has some basic responsibilities at the federal level — national security, major programs like social security,” he said. “The more government has expanded into other areas, the less competent, good of job it has had of managing the things that were given to it.”
Reagan warned against transferring too much power to Washington, Fund said.
As a consequence of Washington’s increasing power, he said, government “has too much on its plate, and nothing gets done really effectively and efficiently. We need to make government smaller, we need to disperse power back to the states and cities, and to the people.”
People need more choices on issues such as Social Security and Medicare, he said.
“We need to get government back to core competency issues that they can handle rather than dealing with 15,000 government programs — that’s how many federal programs we have.”
When asked whether an ethical vacuum exists in Washington, Fund answered, “Anytime you have power, especially political power . . . you’re going to have people abuse it.”
“If you throw enough money at people, you can often corrupt some people,” he told Newsmax, also noting that he believes members of Congress must do a better job of policing themselves.
However, he cautioned, “The way to do address that is not to cut off the flow of money in politics. A, that can’t be done and B, it’s unconstitutional, as the Supreme Court says,” Fund said.
“The way to do that is A, elect people of character, do pay attention to people of character, because their character in the past is probably a guideline to their character in the future,” said Fund, whose books include “Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy.”
“And secondly, make government smaller, make the opportunities for corruption smaller.
“You know, Solyndra and all of these horrible Energy Department scandals, where taxpayers’ money was flushed down ratholes to companies that Obama donors often were involved in,” he said. “If the government hadn’t set itself up as the green energy czar, dictating how billions and billions of dollars were going to flow out to dubious green energy projects that hadn’t been proven, you wouldn’t have had that corruption.
“The way to reduce corruption in Washington is to keep government smaller, and hopefully, even smaller than it is today.”
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