For the last two years, the GOP and the Tea Party has given us a lot of platitudes, bumper stickers, and ten-word answers to the problems the country faces. Now that they’ve won some elections and are now in control of the House of Representatives, it’s time to come up with some answers. Okay, Republicans, now’s your chance. Consider this the essay portion of the entrance exam. Remember, all of your answers must contain actual citations from objective and primary sources, and spelling counts.
1. How are you going to reduce the deficit? What specific programs will you cut and by how much?
2. If you’re hell-bent on repealing the healthcare bill, what will you replace it with, or are you going to go back to the place where pre-existing conditions are grounds for denial of coverage and acne was a deal-breaker?
3. Some of you have said you want to eliminate the Department of Education. Since the DOE’s main job is providing funding for programs such as free and reduced lunches in poor communities, assistance for school districts in paying for the special needs children including the disabled, teacher training and recruitment, and providing funds that attempt to fill the gap when the states can’t do it, how will you help the public schools meet the needs of their students?
4. If illegal immigration is such a big problem, how much money are you willing to spend to protect the border and how many border guards are you going to hire to man the dang fence? Double the current budget? Triple it? How will you pay for it? (See #1.)
5. If you’re so dead set on keeping the Bush tax cuts in place, where are you going to come up with the money to replace the several trillion dollars not collected by letting the tax cuts lapse?
6. If you’re so much in favor of smaller government and more freedoms, what are you going to tell the gay community when you insist that the Constitution should be amended to restrict their rights to live their lives as they choose without the interference of the federal government deciding who they can or can’t marry?
7. If you are committed to solving all of these problems, explain exactly how calling hearings in the origins of President Obama’s birth certificate will achieve that.
8. How exactly does the government stimulate the economy into growing without spending money or cutting taxes?
9. If you believe that people should be held accountable for their actions, especially people in a position of fiduciary trust for other peoples’ money, how exactly will repealing the banking and financial reforms put in place by the Obama administration achieve that?
10. If you truly believe in the repeal of the 17th Amendment — the one that provided for the election of the Senate by the people rather than appointment by the state legislature — how much are you willing to pay to your state’s power brokers to assure that you’ll be kept in office?
You’ve had two years to think about these questions, so you should be able to come up with real answers in a relatively short time. After all, the next election cycle started at midnight last night. Good luck.