Carpe Diem: Washington’s Foundations Are Showing Cracks

The Washington of the future we’d like to see

After 12 years of seemingly inexorable blind faith in an ever more powerful and intrusive government, a spate of recent polls finally shows support crumbling for Washington’s hubristic overreach:

The new Gallup poll: “Record High in U.S. Say Big Government Greatest Threat: Now 72% say it is greater threat than big business or big labor”

Harvard University’s Institute of Politics: “Millennials Abandon Obama and Obamacare: A majority of America’s youngest adults would vote to recall the president

Also from Gallup: “Obama Approval Down Most Among Hispanics in Past Year

The Daily Beast: “The GOP Couldn’t Kill Obamacare, but Hispanics Could

Pew: “Liberal support for Obama at all-time low, worse than George W. Bush and conservatives

Business Insider: “Obama’s Current Approval Rating Is The Ugliest Since Nixon

And with a federal judge ruling NSA’s spying to be unconstitutional, sense may be coming back in vogue.

Details from the polls also reveal a heartening bipartisan distrust:

  • Forty-three percent of respondents approve of Obama, compared with 55% who disapprove.
  • Forty-two percent approve of how he’s handling the economy; 55% disapprove.
  • Thirty-four percent approve of how congressional Democrats are handling their jobs; 64% disapprove.
  • Twenty-four percent approve of how congressional Republicans are doing their jobs; 73% disapprove.
    On the question of who respondents “trust” to do a better job with the nation’s problems, 41% say Obama, and 41% say congressional Republicans.
  • Forty-five percent trust congressional Republicans more to handle the economy—qqq41% say Obama.
  • 42% trust Obama more with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act—qqq37% say congressional Republicans.

Precisely what we’ve been saying: you can not and must not trust the president nor either party with the nation’s problems, the economy, healthcare—or anything else.

And rather than treat this on an identity-politics basis—i.e., impeach [Nixon/Obama], replace him with someone we can trust, and restore confidence in government—we need to seize the opportunity to reverse government’s ratchet.

We must build on and encourage the replacement of the failed construct of looking to Washington for the answers with a firm commitment to advancing peaceful, prosperous, and free societies, grounded in a commitment to human worth and dignity.

That means freeing individuals and communities to apply their ingenuity and talents in crafting innovative solutions to seemingly intractable societal challenges. This has been the real-world result across time and place: from Estonia in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall, to African nations today, enterprise trumps government in providing every human need. Our books Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, The Voluntary City, Making Poor Nations Rich, and others champion the benefit to all when we end government’s dysfunctional effect—especially for those not politically well-connected, such as the poor.

Carpe diem!

Time for a real change!

Mary L. G. Theroux is Senior Vice President of the Independent Institute. Having received her A.B. in economics from Stanford University, she is Managing Director of Lightning Ventures, L.P., a San Francisco Bay Area investment firm, former Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the Salvation Army of both San Francisco and Alameda County, and Vice President of the C.S. Lewis Society of California.
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