Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Fred! Lays Out A Plan, And Levies Criticism

Over @ NRO's Campaign Spot, Jim Geraghty takes note of Fred Thompson's recent statements regarding what he would do if elected:

But he says he thinks the public is looking for a different kind of leadership. “I think a president could go to the American people and say, ‘Here’s what we need to be doing. And I’m willing to go halfway. Now you have to make them [the opposition] go halfway.’ ”

The approach Thompson says he’s contemplating is one that will step on many sensitive political toes. When he says “we’re getting a free ride” fighting a necessary war in Iraq with an undersized military establishment, “wearing out our people and equipment,” it sounds like a criticism of the president and the Pentagon.

When he says he would have opposed adding the prescription drug benefit to Medicare, “a $17 trillion add-on to a program that’s going bankrupt,” he is fighting the bipartisan judgment of the last Congress.

When he says the FBI is perhaps incapable of morphing itself into the smart domestic security agency the country needs, he is attacking another sacred cow...

His second sourcebook contains the scary reports from Comptroller General David Walker, the head of the Government Accountability Office, on the long-term fiscal crisis spawned by the aging of the American population and the runaway costs of health care. Walker labels the current patterns of federal spending “unsustainable” and warns that unless action is taken soon to improve both sides of the government’s fiscal ledger — spending and revenue — the next generation will suffer.

“Nobody in Congress or on either side in the presidential race wants to deal with it,” Thompson said. “So we just rock along and try to maintain the status quo. Republicans say keep the tax cuts; Democrats say keep the entitlements.
And we become a less unified country in the process, with a tax code that has become an unholy mess, and all we do is tinker around the edges.”

Thompson readily concedes that he does not know “where all those chips are going to fall” when he starts challenging members of various interest groups to look beyond their individual agendas and weigh the sacrifices that could ensure a better future for their children.

But these issues — national security and the fiscal crisis of an aging society with runaway heath-care costs — “are worth a portion of a man’s life. If I can’t get elected talking that way, I probably don’t deserve to be elected.”

Since my recent change of heart, and a return to the presidential camp I started in with Thomas, only Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson seem to have a plan for the future of this nation that sounds even close to the conservatism spawned by Ronald Reagan. We have long desired a return to such principles, and Fred seems to have it figured out. He concedes he does not know where things will go, but he is making the case that something has to be tried.

The days of the status quo in the Beltway is done. It does not work. The quick-fix, Band-Aid to treat cancer can no longer be the goal of those going to Washington. America is the greatest, most prosperous, and freest nation on the face of the planet, but only a fool would state that we do not have problems. We have a lot of problems. Much of this stems from forty years of Democrat domination in Congress, but let us not forget that it takes two to tango, and the Republicans are equally culpable; especially in recent years.

He has laid out his conservative ideals. All he needs to do is announce he is running, and these ideas can carry him to a potential victory in 2008.



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