Our goal as conservatives, compassionate or otherwise, is to ultimately reverse the entitlements resulting from the New Deal and restoring this great nation to its lofty status as the land of opportunity. Is it required to be a compassionate conservative to achieve this? Yes, if we want to do it constitutionally. If we don’t want elderly and disabled people on the streets, we have ensure two things: (1) that we replace the New Deal entitlements with opportunities to be prosperous during youth, to work their respective American Dreams so that when it is time to retire or if they become disabled, they won’t need entitlements, and (2) that we not take away from those for whom pursuing opportunities is no longer feasible. Now before you lambaste me for veering away from the Republican conservative edicts, let us realize that one cannot call oneself a conservative without at least a rudimentary understanding of the Constitution. And as most constitutional scholars love to quote articles and amendments, let us not underestimate the Preamble, which is the very foundation for the legitimacy of all articles and amendments:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
While provide for the common defense implies we always maintain a strong military defense so we can fight our enemies who threaten our freedom, and promote the general Welfare, albeit our Founding Fathers never conceived of what we now refer to as a Welfare state, indicates we actually do have a minimal obligation to ensure those who are unable to provide for themselves are not left out in the dust. What is important to understand is that the Constitution is not a document of algorithms; mainly because the Fathers wanted to ensure the nation would be metamorphic enough to adjust to changing times, yet we [the people] would never be led astray from the fundamental principles of which this nation was founded. As we delve further into the Constitution, as well as The Federalist Papers, The Declaration of Independence, and other documents that emerged in our two-hundred-thirty plus years of existence, America as a nation of opportunities, not entitlements, was what the Fathers had in mind and if we could recreate that pre-FDR America, not only would we have a balanced budget, but most Americans would be happier as well as more prosperous. The key is we have to create those opportunities before we shut down all the entitlements and we must provide for those unable, i.e., for those who can’t, not those who won’t.
The Catch-22 is we have to meet this constitutional edict, yet we cannot afford to do so. The best bridge to get us there is privatization, meaning we outsource the services that allow America to promote the general Welfare to private sector companies. There are two possible algorithms for privatization of say, Social Security. One is to allow all private sector related businesses, in this case investing and financial services companies, offer their own alternative solutions, similar to the way health insurance companies are now handling Medicare Parts B, C, and D; hope you can figure it out, because I sure as heck can’t. The other alternative is for the federal government to outsource Social Security to only one financial services company (a company like Fidelity Investments Corp.) to be the sole provider of Social Security services and set their corporate tax rate to zero in return for administering the services. I know what you fellow conservatives are thinking—doesn’t that discourage competition? I am the first to admit that flaw, but right now I see it as the lesser of three evils for allowing the federal government to meet its constitutional obligation stated in the Preamble while taking the financial burden off the government. This ensures one uniform standard, one company is easier to keep in line than several companies, and the federal government can continue to collect fair and equitable corporate taxes from all other financial companies. Once the last person born into the entitlement nation is dwelling in the Kingdom of God, this scenario can gradually phase itself out as a majority of Americans will utilize the opportunities in their youth and those who still need to be provided for will be a small enough number that America will be able to handle it one way or another. Right now, our two choices are the limited government vision of Tea Party and other conservative groups, or national bankruptcy.
To get started, those empowered must make an A-list, a B-list, and a C-list of the current roster of entitlements. The A-list should be what we absolutely do not need, or can be consolidated with another department. The B-list should be what if phased out with no alternatives provided, would not only be uncompassionate, but would result in failure to meet the afore mentioned constitutional edict. And the C-list would be those items on the B-list that can be privatized. The two goals would then be to privatize what can be privatized, and then to start building the opportunity zones so the youth of America can get started in preparing for a life without the entitlements, and in return prosperity, life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and security in their later years without needing government entitlements.