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A Republican’s Reflections On The DNC

This article is more than 7 years old.
Delegates recite the pledge of allegiance at the Democratic National Convention. (AP Photo)
Delegates recite the pledge of allegiance at the Democratic National Convention. (AP Photo)

Twentieth century free-spending politics are on display at this very 21st century Democratic convention. In Charlotte, we’re seeing full-throated endorsements of, well, everything.

This week, speakers have been extolling the need for training and subsidies and unlimited health care and more government provided pathways to a more provided-for future. Big government is back, at least for this brief shining moment in a noisy and crowded political arena in North Carolina.

The messaging and speeches have been impressive. The Democrats know how to orchestrate a party gathering that impresses their public – but the thought still lingers – how are we going to pay for it all?

In Charlotte, we’re seeing full-throated endorsements of, well, everything.

As signs were prepared for the week’s rallies, 23 million Americans remain out of work. As the delegates roar, millions of schoolchildren march to out-of-date schools. As San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro rehearsed for his Tuesday night speech, the debt grew to $16 trillion. And I can’t help but wonder — how are we going to pay for it all?

No one likes to use their weekly paycheck to pay down debt – we’d all rather buy something new for our families – but the reality is we have a pile of past due bills that have to be paid. Republicans argue Barack Obama and his Democratic Congress’ increased spending during the first two years of his presidency are to blame. Democrats claim that spending was both necessary and unavoidable because of damage done during the Bush years. Regardless of how we got here, the debt exists and it must be paid. We must spend much less and, yes, all of us must pay more. The debt clock is ticking and health care and entitlement costs increase every day. Still the question nags — how are we going to pay for it all?

In an era when the country neither trusts its national political leaders nor focuses on a single message at a common time, when President Obama takes the stage on Thursday night, I think voters will be looking for a realistic plan. And rather than just gauging whether or not we are better off than we were four years ago — I’ll also be listening for the answer to the question, "how are we going to pay for it all?"

This program aired on September 6, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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