Opinion

Election 2012: Adam Hasner’s tipping point

We’ve heard for months now how important November’s election will be in American politics. It’s been described variously as a watershed year, as a do-or-die year and as the year we cross the Rubicon. The best description I have heard, though, comes from Republican Adam Hasner, who’s running in Florida’s 22nd Congressional District. He likes to say that we’re at the tipping point.

Imagine losing control of your car on a steep mountain road and ending up teeter-tottering on the edge of a cliff. We’ve seen this scene a thousand times in a thousand different movies. The question always comes down to this: Can the car’s occupants slowly, carefully ease their way into the rear seat and out the back door before the bird swoops down to perch on the front of the hood, thus upsetting the balance and sending them to a horrific, fiery death? That’s where we find ourselves as a nation, on a number of different fronts.

We’re at a financial tipping point. The deaths of Medicare and Social Security by starvation are occurring even faster than originally estimated. Yet Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has no idea what should be done about it. All he says with certainty is that the various plans offered by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., and presidential nominee Mitt Romney aren’t good enough. Should we expect anything different from a Treasury secretary who is either too corrupt or too stupid to pay his own taxes? Moreover, congressional candidates Lois Frankel and Patrick Murphy have nothing to offer short of living in denial and lying passively back as Dr. Kevorkian delivers his final elixir, sending both programs into their final death throes.

Our president, who campaigned on the promise of eliminating deficit spending, has increased the annual deficit and taken our debt from $10 trillion to $15 trillion in less than four years. His only solution is to raise taxes on an already-overburdened public.

We’re also at a political tipping point. Our country is saddled with a president who announced four years ago his desire to run the country. He campaigned for it and spent hundreds of millions of dollars to get it. Once the job was his, Obama blamed his own shortcomings on his predecessor, a divided Congress and even the Supreme Court. Why should anyone be surprised? Before he assumed the mantle of office, he had never run so much as a lemonade stand. His only positive accomplishment to date is that he probably shaved a few strokes off his golf game. He’s as useful in office as is the letter “g” in “lasagna.”

Our republic is at a moral tipping point. The number of those on food stamps has increased 70 percent in the last four years. And the Department of Agriculture actually celebrated this growth in public assistance. Shouldn’t we celebrate getting people off welfare? As of a year ago, one in six Americans received at least one form of public assistance. The safety net that social programs provide has become a hammock. Even more alarming, as of April 2010, 47 percent of American households pay no federal income taxes. They have no skin in the game — no stake in our country’s future. When they cast their votes at the polls, their only interests are in staying off the tax roll, and getting more free stuff.

The more we expand social service and follow President Obama’s tax goal of soaking the wealthy (who are already paying more than their “fair share”), the closer we come to the socialist state. The Pilgrims dabbled in socialism almost 400 years ago. “From each according to his ability and to each according to his need” sounded so compassionate, so logical and so, well, Utopian that they felt it deserved a chance. It wasn’t long before they abandoned this plan when too few workers supported too many freeloaders. Sound familiar? The Pilgrims reverted to a society based on private land ownership. Each family could work its parcel as it saw fit and enjoy the fruits of its own labor.

We see the depths of our moral decay illustrated daily on the media, whether through the display of public defecation at Occupy Wall Street, or the desecration of our flag in front of the Arizona state capitol.

However one defines the current election year, it’s a year to choose carefully. More than that, it’s a year we must all choose. Conservatives can’t afford the luxury of “sitting this one out” because they’re not content with the candidates, lest the nation tip in the wrong direction.

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