This interview perfectly encapsulates the arguments from both sides. Cavuto represents my side and the Congresswoman the side of big government Progressives in both parties. It seems so patently obvious to so many of us that we must stop borrowing yet to the Progressives there seems to be no link between debt and...well...anything. Their solution to our problems is spending, regardless of whether we can ever pay it back.
The Progressives are fond of bringing up seniors, children and healthcare every time we bring up spending cuts and they always wrap themselves up in the blanket of "social justice", which in their mind is the idea that no one should ever go without for any reason.
I think that it's time that the Conservatives take social justice away from the Progressives by learning what it is, why it's vital and how to properly define and explain it. Some conservative commentators, most notably Glenn Beck, have so thoroughly explained and belittled the Progressive theories of "social justice" that they've left no room for discussion of true social justice and the impact it has on the proper ordering of society. The fact is that as acolytes of Randian Objectivism they probably don't understand the need for true social justice themselves and thus can't explain it.
I think that conservatives should be making an argument something like this: while it's true that government has a responsibility to its citizens to help them in time of need, is it just to burden future generations with debt to bail out individuals and corporations that are suffering the effects of past poor judgement? Make those that constantly push for more borrowing justify, using justice as the measuring rod, binding people yet unborn with the chains of debt. In this video you'll note that the Congresswoman has no answer for this.
Further, we need to question the insistence of the Progressives that all governmental help should flow from Washington first. Sidestepping the issue, at least momentarily, of whether the federal government even has the authority under the Constitution to involve itself in these matters, we should be making the argument for subsidiarity and pushing responsibility for our neighbors back into our neighborhoods. Charity begins at home and it should stay close to home. I'll help my neighbors and they'll help me. Even if we're all broke it isn't always money that can make the difference.
The argument needs to be changed from welfare justice to true social justice, and along with that social responsibility, which flows in both directions.
"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." President John F. Kennedy (Read the entire speech here.)
We need to change the hearts and minds of Americans. We need to go back to those ideas of self sacrifice and service that marked all those generations that went before us, the idea that we look to ourselves and our families for support, not the government.
It might take a hundred years to undo the changes that started at the beginning of the Progressive era but undo them we must. And we have to begin by controlling the argument and setting the parameters. We should do exactly what Cavuto does in the clip above, just keep asking, "Where's the money coming from?" Make the big spenders, in both parties, answer that with real answers, not some mathematical flim-flammery of shifting spending from one hand to the next. And don't stop asking, over and over, until we get an answer.
Because stealing is never just and theft is what we're doing when we borrow against future generations.