Washington’s State of Altered Reality

Mar 26, 2013

You’ve probably heard that a gaffe in Washington is when someone accidentally tells the truth. Well, there is a pronounced shortage of truth telling in Washington these days.

It’s one thing to differ over philosophy, direction, and approach. That’s democracy. But the routine neglect of basic facts and fundamental realities is something we are seeing with more frequency in our politics and in our governance. And it should concern all of us.

Here are four realities that Washington has a difficult time grasping:

  • We can’t do much of anything without economic growth—and you can’t create growth and jobs without the private sector.
  • Demography is destiny, so we must acknowledge the need to make changes in entitlements to reflect more retirees, longer life expectancies, and a shortage of native-born Americans to run our economy.
  • There is no such thing as a national economy anymore. We are part of a global economy and a very competitive one.
  • The value we put on economic freedom explains our nation’s success and leadership. The right to take risks, be rewarded for success, and get up off the floor to try again if  you fail are part of America’s secret sauce.

The Chamber has an agenda fashioned around these realities. It calls for fixing our broken immigration system so that we can attract the best and brightest, developing our extraordinary natural resources, opening up opportunities for American companies to sell more of their goods and services to foreign customers, removing regulatory barriers and stemming the tide of the huge regulatory tsunami, and getting our fiscal house in order by reducing spending and reforming our tax and entitlement systems.

As the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” Our policymakers must deal with reality, or reality will surely deal with us.



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