Hey, Remember the Economy?
At some point, we need to avoid campaign distractions and get real about America's bottom line.
At some point all of this sinks in and we have to deal with reality.
One reality that must not change about America and the free enterprise economy is that the root of America's success has always sprung out of the hard labor of its entrepreneurs: the men and women who risk it all on a dream. Government doesn't do that; government can't do that. When a job is created by a small business, that is an investment in people in a way that government can't match. We must preserve the conditions that allow small businesses to thrive.
We can no longer trust the politicians to do this by themselves. Each one of us must be prepared to help set the nation's priorities for the immediate future. We must decide what price we're prepared to pay for a strong national defense and better schools; how much are we truly ready to spend for our children's health care and to secure our nation's borders? Which programs are we prepared to cut in order to get our financial house in order, and by how much? While these are difficult questions, they are not either/or choices, but rather complementary opportunities.
The White House and the Congress need to take a timeout from the silliness of politics and get serious about the short-term and long-term conditions in the market that have resulted in slow job creation by American businesses and investors. Rabid efforts to drown the rich in higher taxes while ignoring the overall impact of runaway entitlement spending or the need for a more comprehensive approach to revenue makes accomplishing anything that much harder.
While the solutions necessary to spark a sustainable economic recovery are vital, it appears the will to act on them is lacking.
But then again, maybe we have already decided that the solutions are too hard and the price, whatever it is, is too high.
After all, it's easier to live with distractions such as what Romney did in high school or Obama's "evolution" on gay marriage) than it is to deal with reality.
Michael Steele is the former chairman of the Republican National Committee and served as lieutenant governor of Maryland from 2003 to 2007. He is currently a political analyst for MSNBC.