Schmitt: Unsustainables

by Harrison H. Schmitt

On this Memorial Day, when we honor fallen protectors of liberty, we must renew our dedication to their cause at home. Relative to protecting liberty, the word “unsustainable” has taken on radically new visibility (see Peggy Noonan, WSJ May 28-29, 2011).


As has been stated by Conservatives for years, “unsustainable” national, state, and local spending policies have reached beyond Democrat and Republican political labels. Growth in government spending and debt now is on a course to destroy America [Essay 8]. Spending, debt and inflation have moved far out of constitutional “general welfare” considerations and into the realm of “common defence”.

The House and Senate Republicans in particular must be pressured, assisted and supported in providing permanent reductions in all entitlement spending with corresponding incentives for individual economic responsibility. History clearly proves that the higher tax rates socialists desire will only make matters worse by stifling job and income growth, investment incentives, and tax revenues.

Character Assassination

Politicians and media who care only about their own power will stop at nothing to tear down Conservative messengers who state that current entitlement policies are “unsustainable”. All Conservatives must stand up to these attacks, not waver in the fight, and defend those who step forward, whether political competitors or not.

Full political agreement on all issues is not possible; but standing back from the fray, or even participating in the attacks, merely emboldens more intense character assassination. Just look at what has happened to any Conservative that chooses to vigorously defend America, liberty, and constitutional government. Americans either stand together or fall separately.


Also “unsustainable” are the current federal regulatory and administrative policies related to fossil fuel exploration and production and nuclear power plant construction [Essay 44].

High on the list of “common defence” requirements of North America is the need for vigorous near-term development of domestic, offshore and Canadian fossil fuel energy sources. Fuel and electricity price increases, or threatened interruptions in the energy imports that support our liberty and enterprise, constitute as great an issue of national security as unsustainable entitlement spending by government.


The deterioration of K-12 education looms as the most critical trend that is “unsustainable” in America [Essay 13].Conservatives must recapture the K-12 educational systems of the States and resist and then eliminate ideological coercion by the Federal Government.

The largely government and union controlled educational environment of today creates an electorate without the historical, technical, and language knowledge and skills required to support constitutional government. If this trend continues, the current conservative electoral majority will eventually become a minority and the Founders’ America will disappear.


Harrison H. Schmitt is a former United States Senator from New Mexico as well as a geologist and former Apollo Astronaut.  He currently is an aerospace and private enterprise consultant and a member of the new Committee of Correspondence.


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