Edition


Vol. 44, No. 3

Editor’s Note: In This Edition

For years, fiscal gurus and budgetary experts have been warning us about the long term implications of spending more than we take in. The economy will collapse, they warned. Social Security and other important programs will become unaffordable. The standard of living that millions of people had grown accustomed to will no longer exist. For […]

After the Revolution

U.S. Senator John Thune (R-SD) speaks on America’s dissatisfaction with Obama’s promised revolution of hope and change and what must now be done. “They have learned that change isn’t always for the better. Sometimes it is a return to the failed policies and discredited ideas of the past.”

A Recipe for Economic Disaster

“In order to help keep small businesses on the forefront of the markets, it is critical that leaders in Washington foster an environment that encourages creativity and promotes free enterprise.”

In Memoriam- Art Lifson

Medicare’s Crisis of Accountablility

Accountability seems to be a watchword in Washington these days. It is preached by the President, spoken by the Speaker, and has become a standard component of Democratic rhetoric this year.

Advice for My Party As I Head for the Door

BOB BENNETT“As I look out at the political landscape now, I find plenty of slogans on the Republican side, but not very many ideas.” The concern I have is that ideology and a demand for absolute party purity endangers our ability to govern once we get into office. A personal story – back in 1976, […]

Why Missile Defense Is Still Needed

Some arguments are worth repeating. “Take missile defense. The basic justification for developing this weapon system has not changed much since President Reagan proposed it in 1983. But the threats have changed.”

The Perfect Storm, Part I:

“Congress and the Administration must rein in spending and stabilize federal debt relative to GDP.”

The Perfect Storm, Part II: What the Crisis will Look Like When it Hits

Maya MacGuineas makes predictions about the path our nation is headed and presents an argument on what should be done: “To get out of this mess, and we would ultimately have to do what politicians were trying to avoid—raise taxes and cut spending – but to a much greater degree than we ever would have […]

The Perfect Storm, Part III: While Congress Slept

U.S. Senator Mike Enzi discusses how the failure of Congress to pass the budget is to neglect their duty and responsibility. “The majority leadership of this Congress is not doing something, and it’s running our country’s financial future into the ground.”

The Most Important Governor to Watch

“Voters aren’t stupid. But they often don’t pay attention to the details of public policy, especially at the state level. That’s why, when a forceful political leader comes along and points out the obvious, big things can happen fast.”

Moderates and the Wimp Factor

Lou Zickar, the Ripon Forum’s Editor, challenges moderate Republicans to be tough rather than live up to their reputation of being soft. “To counter this perception, moderate Republicans need to find the fiscal equivalent of a pork rind – something that will let them demonstrate their fiscal resolve and commitment to reducing the national debt.”

The Ripon Profile of Charlie Dent

“As Republicans, we must present a concise and understandable agenda that speaks to the economic and fiscal issues that are currently the greatest concern to the American public. “

Editor’s Note: In This Edition

For years, fiscal gurus and budgetary experts have been warning us about the long term implications of spending more than we take in.

The economy will collapse, they warned. Social Security and other important programs will become unaffordable. The standard of living that millions of people had grown accustomed to will no longer exist.

For years, we treated these warnings as distant events – as if they were rocks jutting up from a faraway shoal that America would never reach. In recent months, however, a consensus has begun to emerge that the warnings can no longer be ignored, and that a perfect storm is pushing our country toward the rocks.

It is a storm fueled by rising debt, runaway deficits, an aging population, and a level of entitlement spending that is spiraling out of control. It is a storm made worse by our leaders in Washington, who have pledged to deal with the looming crisis, but have then refused to make the tough decisions that are required to prevent it.

In this edition of THE RIPON FORUM, we look at this crisis with some of the same experts whose warnings of fiscal disaster are being proven right. Leading our coverage is former presidential advisor Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who puts the storm into perspective and discusses why the worst of it could arrive sooner than we would like. Following his excellent commentary is an insightful essay by budget authority Maya MacGuineas, who explains what this crisis will mean for the Nation’s economy and how it could impact people’s lives.

To find out what Washington is doing — or rather not doing – to prevent this crisis from occurring, we also feature an essay by Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi, who was a certified public accountant prior to his election to the Senate and finds it outrageous that, in light of the fiscal challenges facing the Nation, Congress is failing to perform the one task he used to advise all of his former accounting clients to do – prepare a budget. One elected leader who is making tough calls is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has not just succeeded in passing a budget in a challenging fiscal environment, but has done so with bipartisan support. In a fine essay, Robert Ward of the Nelson Rockefeller Institute tells us how he has accomplished this feat and become “The Most Important Governor to Watch.”

In other topics, this edition of the FORUM also features rising GOP star John Thune discussing why President Obama’s call for revolutionary change has fallen flat across the country. House Small Business Committee Ranking Republican Sam Graves looks at one of these changes, the new health care law, and how it is harming entrepreneurs. And four departing U.S. Senators share words of wisdom about the future of the Nation and the GOP.

As with every edition, we hope you find this edition of the FORUM interesting and informative, and encourage you to contact us at editor@riponsociety.org with any thoughts or comments you might have.

Lou Zickar
Editor
The Ripon Forum