Published on Apr 11, 2012
My fellow Americans, today we are going to try something new.
I am going to sit here and say what we all know is true... but which everyone is afraid to say.
I am going to talk about what made this country is great... but why it is risking its greatness.
This is what our leaders should be doing. This is what our leaders are paid to do. This is why we give them advisers... and airplanes to travel the world... and beautiful offices, just like this one.
But they don't do it. They won't do it.
So I will.
Let's start with a simple observation. Before World War II, before the New Deal, here is what Washington D.C. looked like. It was a backwater. A swampy, sleepy city where nothing much happened.
And that was by design. The founding fathers wanted Washington D.C. to be a city of inaction. Of limited power.
Today, it is the imperial city.
The Washington D.C. metropolitan area is the wealthiest area of the country. And yet it boasts only one industry - the government. Only one major employer - the government. And only one product - more government.
Today, we see Washington's growth has cost us. While Washington blossoms, America is hollowed out. Its once great industries and industrial cities have emptied out. Block after block. Abandoned.
But in Washington, there is no recession. Home prices continue to rise. Unemployment continues to fall. This is a city on the move. And it is on the move in the only direction it knows: Up.
There is no such thing as a recession in government. When times are good, it gets bigger. When times are bad, it gets even bigger.
The leaders in the imperial city now call for more taxes, more tribute and more government. They are willing to strangle the last remaining signs of life and prosperity in the great heartland.
There is only one way out of this mess.
And it is this: We must stop looking to Washington D.C. for solutions to the problems we face at home and in our communities.
We must end our dependency on Washington D.C. We must look at Washington as the source of our problems... not the solution to them. When Washington comes to us selling their one product, which is more government, we will just say: No thanks. We're not interested... and we're not buying.
Simply doing that one thing will make a lot of things easier.
It will be easy to close federal departments and agencies. Empty them out.
It will be easy to fire federal workers, and see them apply their skills in the private sector. Things will work out for them.
It will be easy to go back to the work of rebuilding our communities without the distraction and red tape created by every new law and regulation that comes out of Washington D.C. We will simply do the work that needed to be done.
That's where America's renewal will begin. I wish we could take the time to unwind Washington steadily and slowly, but I am afraid we are running out of time. We have to simply cut the cord, and let Washington go.
I know that will hurt home values in metropolitan Washington, but that's how these things go when you live in a one company town.
And if Washington can't understand that, there are plenty of Americans who know what that's like. And if Washington is willing to listen, America is ready to share what it knows about resilience.
We will talk more about that next week.
Thanks for watching.