Paul deWitt

“The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.” — Alexis de Tocqueville

The United States is about to elect as its next president someone who will redirect the country onto a path of fiscal solvency, or re-elect a man who will guide the country further down the road to fiscal ruin.

The question is whether more people can be bribed into voting for the party that promises unabated government handouts than the number who are alarmed by the unconstrained growth in government spending and national debt under Barack Obama and want to change the direction of the country before it is too late.

National polls have been moving in Mitt Romney’s direction since the first debate but reflect a large core of support for four more years of the Obama administration. Obviously the tactics of the Obama election machine, combined with the aid and assistance of a compliant mainstream media that does little to hide its enthusiasm for an Obama victory, are working to advance the goal of a second term for the president.

The fact that this election is not a blowout win for Republicans says as much about the attention span of the average voter as it does the efforts of the Obama machine and their friends in the media to achieve his re-election.

A Republican president with the same questionable background and associations — and engaged in the same failed stewardship of the economy and foreign policy as Obama — would have been excoriated by the media. What is more troubling is that so many Americans are uninformed on the issues of the day, including a segment inelegantly described by Romney as the “47 percent” who will likely vote for Obama because of their dependence on government.

We are living through a period of crisis in both domestic and foreign policy. It is imperative that we elect someone with the background, experience, philosophy and judgment to guide the country through this troubled time and restore a sense of confidence in the economy and our ability to deal with friends and enemies abroad.

For the election to be decided based on the assurance by Obama and the Democrats that a vote for them will guarantee government assistance to those who have come to rely on it threatens to undermine the entire basis on which the country was founded.

“Mediscare” tactics used by Democrats in every election since 1980, with seniors being told that Republicans will destroy Medicare “as we know it” by replacing it with a “voucher,” seem to be working again. Democrats demagogue any attempts by Republicans like Paul Ryan to introduce measures designed to deal with entitlement spending, yet the party of the president offers no alternative.

The fact is that continued inattention to the imminent insolvency of government entitlement programs will guarantee that those programs will cease to exist “as we know them” and that those entering the workforce and even those approaching middle age will not have Social Security or Medicare in retirement.

The country will have long since been unable to fund those programs through deficit spending that relies on the willingness of countries like China to buy U.S. government debt. In addition, inflation driven by irresponsible fiscal and monetary policy will erode the fixed incomes upon which so many seniors depend.

It is time for Americans to ask themselves whether the party that promises continued government largesse is preferable to one that proposes fiscal discipline and reasonable means for controlling the unsustainable growth in entitlement programs. Are we willing to be bribed by more government spending and promises of handouts or will we entrust the future of the country to a leadership team that understands the critical issues that must be addressed, even if that means some degree of personal sacrifice?