2012 is officially in the rear-view mirror and 2013 is here. Regular readers know that I am an optimist by nature, and there’s nothing an optimist likes more than a brand new year to get things off to a fresh new start. So in that regard I am excited, as always, for the opportunity a new year brings.
My optimism is tempered this year by some serious concerns about the things we face in 2013. The new year offers some daunting challenges, both personally and collectively as a nation.
Nancy Pelosi’s much quoted observation that we had to pass Obamacare to see what was in it will start to live up to its promise. Expect an ever more revealing look at monster with the pretty name and lofty ideals. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will neither protect patients, nor be affordable. I expect that what we learn about this law will occupy a good part of the new year.
Economic issues will be another constant companion in 2013. We see that in these first few hours of 2013 and the proposed Fiscal Cliff Deal.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the last-minute fiscal cliff deal reached by congressional leaders and President Barack Obama cuts only $15 billion in spending while increasing tax revenues by $620 billion—a 41:1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts.
Of course that 41:1 figure relies on the $15 billion in spending cuts actually getting cut. Any bets on that happening? I didn’t think so.
My biggest (and final, for this post. I promise) concern for the new year, and Obama’s second term, is regulation. I am convinced that we are in for a flood of regulations in the new year and beyond that will eclipse what we’ve seen in our first 236 years as a nation. Ironically, it may be the regulatory over-reach that wakes up the complacent and propels them to action. Even the ever larger segment of the population that is happy to get government “stuff” will, I believe, start to chafe from regulations that intrude into every part of our lives.
But enough pessimism.
As I am every year, I am excited about the possibilities a new year offers. The challenges we face are nothing compared to the people that will face them. I may be dumbfounded by choices my fellow citizens made in 2012, but I am convinced that there are enough of us left who still believe in the American experiment to prevent an irreversible collapse.
I’ve said before that in some ways America has it too good. Not in the way our liberal friends think, that we need to be knocked down a peg to elevate the rest of the world. Rather, that when we live a life of ease it is easy to become complacent, to forget the words of Ronald Reagan,
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
And there are still fighters out there. I’m sure of it. I’m counting on it.
Yet, sometimes it takes a little adversity to remind us that we need to continue the fight. Years ago I remember teaching a Sunday school class. I made the point that Satan has better success using complacency than confrontation. The same is true of our national life, as we sit back and believe that things will get better without working to insure that it is so.
My wish for all of you in 2013 is that you will be blessed by all the good things that God has made available to you, that you will find comfort to persevere in the face of adversity, and that you will choose to fight for the promise still inherent in our great nation,
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Happy New Year, and all the best for 2013!