I know. It’s not a perfect world. Ideally we want our representatives to government to focus on programs, policies, and solutions that can help improve the economy. Today’s account, as reported in The New York Times, shows a few members of the U.S. Senate attempting to do that as they work on legislation that would stop the sequestration or automatic spending cuts and automatic tax increases due to occur on 1 January 2013.
What raises cynicism in some minds is that for all the need to come together to confront this one challenge, there is no framework in place to avoid the partisanship that got us here in the first place. Today’s efforts may amount to nothing more than a bandage versus the long term care that the political system needs.
One step we can take to moving away from the bandage approach to an approach based on a fundamental framework would be to discard with the view that government is a trough. We have a bunch of people trying to control the steering wheel while the car heads for a cliff. What we need are a bunch of policymakers deciding how much in resources do we need at a minimum to support a government that protects individual liberties, provides a national defense, and promotes commercial activity and growth.
There will and should be differences among policy makers and elected representatives over the amount of expenditures needed to be made by government in order to meet the three pillars, but I think the political violence we see today would be greatly reduced if the focus of government is placed on securing our liberties versus a system more concerned about who secures a contract or tax funded benefit.