Where Were You?

Democratic activists are trying valiantly to defend the way Obama and Pelosi have rammed healthcare “reform” down our throats but are having a hard time. When asked to provide reasons, they provide red herrings.

When conservative opponents say we can’t afford this partisan power grab of one-sixth of the U.S. economy, they say, “Where were you when George Bush was running up huge deficits?”

I’ll tell you where we were. We were there, complaining. The previous president did many things right, and some things wrong. Allowing an evenly split Congress to run up huge deficits was one of the things he did wrong, and many conservatives said so.

But even if we didn’t, so what? You liberals did. If it was reckless and wrong for a Republican administration to run up deficits equaling 2 percent of the nation’s GDP then, why is it now right for Obama and Co., who control all the levers of power in Washington, to run up deficits in excess of 5 percent of GDP? And you’re accusing us of hypocrisy?

Other apologists for the IRS Full Employment Act of 2010 say, with a note of triumph in their voices, “Where were you when George Bush spent all that money in Iraq, based upon a lie?”

First, it was not a lie (unless the whole world, including Democrats, was also lying). Second, Obamacare spending is going to cost a lot more of this nation’s treasure than Iraq ever will. Third, national defense is a constitutional responsibility of the federal government; healthcare is not. And Obamacare will cut deeply into our capacity to defend ourselves in a dangerous world.

If conservatives say that Obamacare, which the American people have manifestly said they do not want, represents a giant stride in the direction of socialism, liberals retort, “Where were you when the federal government created Social Security and Medicare, two immensely popular programs, which also represent what you would call socialism?”

First, many of us (for good or ill) voted for these programs. Second, while they attempt to provide a safety net, they do not take over whole industries, as Obamacare will. Third, however popular they are, both Medicare and Social Security are heading toward financial insolvency. Why in the world would we create another huge entitlement that will lead this nation that much faster to bankruptcy?

The question “Where were you?” doesn’t stand, at least when applied to conservatives. Unfortunately for all the liberals and “moderates” who voted for this monstrosity, the American people will be asking it of them.

About Stan Guthrie

Stan Guthrie is an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine and for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His latest book is God's Story in 66 Verses. He also is author of All that Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, and A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy. He is co-author of The Sacrament of Evangelism. Besides authoring, writing, and editing books, Stan is a literary agent, bringing together good authors, good books, and good publishers. Stan writes the monthly Priorities colum for BreakPoint.org. He has appeared on National Public Radio's €œTell Me More,€ WGN's Milt Rosenberg program, and many Christian shows, including The Eric Metaxas Show and Moody Radio'€™s €œNew Day Florida.€ A licensed minister and an inspirational speaker, he served as moderator for the Christian Book Expo panel discussion, Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does It Make?
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