In the wake of their wave of elections in 2006 and 2008, the Democrats' tsunami recedes from shore and sweeps us into the economic abyss of the 1970s. Americans clinging to their prosperity amid the devastation wonder what happened.
Exploiting the pain of this Great Recession to impose its great redistribution of your money, the left simultaneously perpetrates a "temporary" government spending spree and a permanent expansion of the welfare state. This disastrous course prolongs and deepens Americans' tribulations and threatens limited government and the very foundation of American exceptionalism.
As known by every American who has courageously restructured a family budget or a business plan to meet the economic challenges of globalization, our nation not only suffers a recession. We confront a great restructuring.
In this age of globalization, we interact across the globe in seconds. The communications revolution's expansion of individual freedom and self-government spurs the decentralization and democratization of once highly centralized and bureaucratized organizations. And it dooms big government. Thus, our task during this restructuring is to match the consumer-driven economy with a citizen-driven government.
Being in the party of big government, Democrats cannot hope to embrace this change. Typified by last year's record 16 percent increase in federal spending to $3.2 trillion, at your expense the left labors under the delusion that its redistribution can prevent the restructuring's inevitable implosion of big government.
To wit, President Obama's erroneous, radical and professed intent to have government lay the foundations of a new American economy. Previously, the federal government sought to regulate our economy. Today, this leftist government wants to re-create our economy. Such hubris ignores the reality that the most prosperous and equitable economy in human history was created by the American people, not the federal government, and it rejects America's revolutionary experiment in freedom and limited government. If, as under Obamacare, the federal government can arbitrarily and radically re-create our economy, it is no longer limited and subservient to the sovereign American people.
Ideologically enthralled, the left has replaced the housing bubble with a government bubble designed to prop up the decrepit welfare state. This economic quackery pumps monetary morphine into the terminal carcass of the left's Great Society model of governance, wherein your power, property and decisions are concentrated increasingly in a highly centralized, corporatist and bureaucratic state. In consequence, the left's big-government orgy of spending, taxes, deficits, debt and depressed economic growth does not facilitate a brighter future; it perpetuates the benighted present.
It cannot do so indefinitely. To date, government has escaped restructuring because, while families and businesses can spend only what they make, government spends what it takes - and more. Still, government will not prove immune to necessary change. Best we immediately reject and prudently rectify the left's redistribution, for the longer the restructuring's economic day of reckoning is denied, the greater the number of Americans - present and future - who will be crushed beneath the wheels of the left's fiscal train wreck.
Admittedly, the times require more from Republicans than bland mantras of reduced spending and balanced budgets, because this fails to put such proposals in the proper context of ultimately transcending the restructuring. This omission enables the left's redistribution to pose as a palliative to our present distress, paint Republicans as draconian accountants and thereby diminish a prospective GOP majority's ability to attain even a modicum of fiscal integrity in federal spending.
During the restructuring, Republicans must hasten government's reformation so Americans are free to forge our path to enduring economic growth in this nascent age of globalization. In so doing, Republicans' core principle must be that true progress is the expansion of liberty and self-government, not the increase of bureaucracy and big government. Only the entrepreneurial and industrious American people will keep our economy the world's inspiring light of prosperity.
Again, the good news is that by dooming big government, the great restructuring will ensure our economic destiny stays in our hands. The only question is how much of it will be left in our pockets when the great redistribution's bill comes due.
Rep. Thaddeus G. McCotter of Michigan is chairman of the Republican House Policy Committee.