Monday, February 15, 2010

"You wanna drive?" & A Reflection on Lincoln

My wife and I often have "back-seat driving" disputes, wherein I will flinch and grab onto the various handles in the passenger seat, while she grimaces and tells me that I'm not such a peachy driver myself. My biggest issue is that I don't feel there is a sufficient "bubble" between us and the car in front of us. This inevitably leads to the question "do you want to drive?"

Now the Democrats are asking the Republicans if they want to drive the budget, however, this is after the Republicans have been sitting int he backseat going "hey uh, red light!...SLOW DOWN THERE'S A RED LIGHT!"

This is clearly a political move, but unfortunately the GOP is taking a political response of crossing their arms and saying "No, you didn't listen to us before and now you are just trying to make us look bad." I'll tell you this much, that's not what Abraham Lincoln would have done. His political career is defined by games of chicken, in which he almost always won by acting first. His early years in the political arena were defined by him acting against this will of his party, the later years acting against the collective judgment of the press, however he knew what he had to do and he got it done.

There is no doubt that many Republicans have given pretty speeches in the past that referred to Lincoln as a Republican and stating how they model themselves after him in some way. I encourage them to act strongly here. Yes, the collision course has already been set by previous votes and there will be painful results. However, all eyes are on the red ties this week. If Republicans can produce a strong proposal to "restructure" (not "cut") state spending, it could have long term repercussions on how this state views its politics.

My own proposal is simple. Government programs should know how to run themselves more efficiently than those elected to office. There are some sub-programs that are working, and others that aren't. Make the directors "cut the baby." All government programs should have to submit three budgetary proposals with 0%, 5%, and 10% level cuts. These proposals can be reviewed to see where the leadership thinks they have room to cut. If the electeds are unwilling to force those cuts, they can accept the 0% budget. Otherwise, they can allow the programs to do the cuts for them.

This may be seen as "passing the buck," but it is also how corporations will review the necessity of "redundancies." GOP is left without egg on their face and the Dems are left without an excuse.

1 comment:

  1. You let your wife drive? My (ex) husband never let me drive. Predictably, we're divorced.

    He immediately remarried, having had an excellent experience the first round, but I've never seen his second wife driving, either. I taught him much, but still there's work to be done. I had to leave something for her to do besides thank me for all my hard work. (You're very welcome, Second Wife ;)

    I would have pegged you for the controlling type as well, but your gen has apparently made some improvements.