‘If you can’t control the budget you’re not a government’

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Let me finish tonight with two of my fixed positions on the role of government:

One, If you can’t protect your border, you’re not a country.

Two, If you can’t control your budget, you’re not a government.

On the border, yes, you have to guard it humanely and, given our history, with a reasonable liberality.  We are, after all, the land of immigrants.

But countries have a right to decide how other people enter. If they don’t take that responsibility seriously, they have failed their own nationhood.

I want people living here right now to stay and be given legitimate documents. But I want “all” employers who hire people in the future to see those documents or face charges.

This country does a sloppy job of protecting our border and we all know it.  Basically we let anyone who “can” cross it, to do so, any business that wants to, to give that person a job. It’s a deal between a desperate person sneaking in and a business person sneakily hiring that person at the lowest wage they can get away with. Sleazy business people, in other words, have become our un-official INS. What a revolting way to treat people, to abdicate our duty as a country and turn it over to ruthless employers.

My second fixed position is, if you can’t control the budget you’re not a government.

The president assembled a commission to try and deal with a debt racing past $14 trillion. The commission chairmen have recommended a set of actions that will cut in half the projected debt growth over the next decade.

As a guy who worked on the Senate Budget Committee at the time of its creation, I know how hard this will be.  Every pressure group in the country will want to blast its recommendations one at a time  and will bristle with outrage to get media attention.

But ask anyone who complains about the proposals what they would do instead. 

When I ask politicians to name a program they would cut, I get generalizations and procedures.  I don’t get the “name” of a program, one costing up there where you can see the cut making a difference.

If we only report on those who yell “ouch” the loudest, we are, in effect, defending the deficits. I think the chairmen of the commission are doing the job President Obama asked them to do: spreading the pain.

The pressure groups will do what they do.  The question is whether the people will do, together, what needs to be done.

We need a border. We need a government budget. The question is whether our politicians have the stuff to protect either.

'If you can't control the budget you're not a government'

Updated