Politics

GOP Debate: Tea Party vs. Tea Partly

| by CEI

In noticing the upcoming debate tonight featuring Republican contenders, I wondered to myself under which candidate would the federal government actually be smaller after four years, should any of them win?

Maybe Ron Paul, in working with some imaginary 114th Congress; but of course Trump told the CPAC crowd that Paul could never win. But he’s fun to watch.

Tonight’s candidates will make the general case to to cut spending and debt. But sometimes it seems that “Big Government Conservative,” which detractors called Trump, is a redundancy. The largest spending and regulatory programs have and do enjoy their support. There’s more Tea Partly than Tea Party in my view.

Thus even slashing record spending and debt is no longer enough — even if the budget were balanced at, say, half its current level. The regulatory state has surged such that the U.S. is an increasingly hostile environment for anyone inclined to create a business (and employ others).

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To change that, Congress’ modern focus should exclusively be to liberalize all economic sectors and wall off the future from today’s suicidal regulatory policies in energy, transportation, manufacturing, health care, financial services and insurance, retirement planning, Internet policy, environment, and frontier areas like biotechnology, nanotechnology, and near-term space policy, and so forth.

Are there any candidates occupying any spot on the campaign spectrum able to articulate the message that we don’t have to do to the future what we’ve done to the present? The politician’s role today is to take Washington’s rocks off today’s creators, and to systematically wall off the future from the policies in existence now. Whether or not they can is one of the great unknowns of today, yet our economic future depends upon liberalization.

Most politicians come to Washington to get things done. I’m still awaiting those who come to Washington to get things undone, and actually follow through.