OBAMA FIDDLES WHILE AMERICA BURNS
The drama unfolding between President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, on the one hand, and House Speaker John Boehner trivializes a crisis that neither the President nor Senator Reid take seriously enough. Government spending this year exceeds the Gross Domestic Product of the country. That is a startling reality. Spending at those levels is entirely unsustainable. President Obama has saddled the United States with more debt than any of his predecessors and the budget is so far from balanced (and the immediate threat of increased entitlement expenditures so extreme) that within the next few years unless substantial cuts are made in spending it is likely that the nations that now loan us money to pay the interest on that debt will refuse to keep doing so. They will anticipate a default on our ability to pay our debts. Thereafter, they will view the U.S. dollar as no longer deserving its present status as the reserve currency for the world. We will enter an era of decline the likes of which we have never before seen. The only way to prevent this occurrence is to cut government spending by several hundred billion dollars now.
The shutdown of the federal government is one way to bring about the savings needed. A better way would be for the President and his ne’er-do-well friend Senator Reid to accept massive budget cuts now rather than force all of us to suffer from their irresponsible spending a few years from now. But Obama and Reid cannot become serious about the budget without sacrificing their core political constituency—those who depend on federal funding for everything from entitlements to make-work programs, literally tens of millions of people who are critical to their political survival.
So, the ultimate showdown on the budget will have to be decided by the American people at the voting booth in 2012. Will America choose to proceed with the current state of delusion, that somehow some way the overwhelming fiscal crisis now upon us will disappear? No economist in the country believes that. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said a year ago, “we cannot grow our way out of this problem. No credible forecast suggests that future rates of growth . . . will be sufficient to close these deficits.” Former GAO Director Daniel Walker calls the federal budget a “burning platform” and describes the government’s fiscal policy, as do many of his colleagues, including former founding Director of CBO and OMB Director Alice Rivlin, as entirely “unsustainable.”
There is no rational way to convince people whose political lives depend on expanding the power and scope of the federal government and making Americans believe the government capable of solving all human ills that the empire they have built to that end must be dismantled to save the country. They will not agree to that dismantlement regardless of how dire the financial crisis is now and will become in future. They sold the nation a pipe dream and their sense of personal identity is inextricably intertwined with that false reality. The only solution is to vote those rascals out. We have to send Obama and Reid packing. They cannot remain in office if we are to solve this problem.
The worst of all worlds, but one sadly predictable, is if those elected on promises to reduce federal spending substantially compromise away that essential objective to avoid the political heat that will invariably come when the army of federal workers lose their jobs and when the entitlements from Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security have to be cut back significantly. This is no moment for the sunshine patriot. Folks are going to have to lose their political careers to save the republic and there are precious few willing to do that.
The greatest gift the American people can give to their country right now is to accept the reality that to be free we have to be self-sufficient and responsible people. We have to reject the false notion that government can care for our every need and accept the reality that our needs are our own responsibilities. We have to care for ourselves and each other. That self-reliance is blessed with great freedom.
If we vote the rascals out, put in place those who will slash the federal budget to a third of its present size, and chart a course for economic reform and recovery, we may yet see a return of our Constitution of Liberty and of American economic greatness. If we achieve that objective, we will look back at this crisis with thanks. We will be able to say that it was a wake-up call to a country that almost lost its very soul and identity to those in politics who promised satisfaction of all needs at public expense, something never attainable in the first place. Government forever proceeds like an enormous parasite, sucking the life’s blood out of the most productive to support the false promise of federal programs, programs which rarely if ever achieve the goals politicians assign to them.
Invariably, as now, when government expenditures outpace the private sector, spending more than the value of all private goods and services, a collapse is inevitable. No human can toil under such an onerous burden from the state. Let us be clear, the federal government is imposing a form of debt peonage on all of us. We are working for the state whether taxed the full amount or not. We are the ones who will pay for the uncontrollable spending. We are all enslaved to a state so in debt that generations to come will still struggle to pay the costs of it.
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The 2012 elections will soon be here, but they are not coming fast enough for those of us who proceed without blinders on and appreciate just how dire the government’s financial crisis has become. We must seize that moment and vote out of office President Obama and the Democratic majority in the Senate. To quote President Reagan, “the time is now.”
© 2011 Jonathan W. Emord - All Rights Reserved