“A Republic, if you can keep it” ~ Benjamin Franklin
By Bill Spadea
The debt ceiling crisis is an economic and political crossroads for America. We stand on the precipice of losing our economic and personal freedom as Democrats and Republicans in Congress consider raising the nation’s debt ceiling.
Americans are clearly entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – although the interpretation of that seems to be a bit broader outside of the libertarian movement, any system designed to help those who cannot help themselves still has to be affordable and sustainable. Remember that the wealth used has to be created by someone else. Through the raging debate in Washington it seems that the truth about our economic system is being ignored by politicians and pundits – that no system on Earth has provided so much to so many as capitalism.
That said, providing for those who can’t provide for themselves is as worthy goal – and one that should be mostly encouraged on the private side (yes this was on the increase during the Bush years due to tax cuts for wealthier Americans who do most of the charitable giving). Following private charity is the help afforded people at the local level, churches and shelters helping the destitute and the abandoned get back to a stable life. Only in the worst case scenarios should the federal government get involved. It’s simply not the appropriate role and as we’ve seen from the results, when you subsidize it, you get more than you bargained for in the first place.
I don’t know about you but when six figure government workers are afforded a lifetime pension and health care in the name of a social compact and entitlement we’ve got a serious problem. The Democrats have continued to move the bar higher to apply these government handouts at the expense of hard working Americans to dramatically increase standards of living – not to provide sustenance to the destitute.
The Democratic philosophy is to provide service and tangible items for people – give the starving man a fish…the conservative/classical liberal position is to teach him to fish. Not to oversimplify but one reason that the vitriol is so palpable recently is because we’re facing our fundamental philosophical differences and it’s scaring many of the folks in DC. I’m sure you heard that the President lost him temper at the congressional leaders yesterday. This is further evidence of the panic engulfing the political elite as the reality that the power they are so desperately clinging to is only sustainable if the American people continue to allow them to spend us into oblivion.
Sensible-minded leaders are finally standing up and saying enough. Thankfully, Congressional leaders like Ron Paul, Michelle Bachmann and Scott Garrett possess the courage and fortitude to stand up to the weak-minded Republicans ready to collapse on our core principles and the Democrats who are fighting to preserve an ever-expanding and intrusive government. They, along with many of their courageous colleagues in the House and Senate, and millions of working Americans, are finally saying enough of the endless borrowing, enough of the bloated spending, enough of the waste, the abuse and the fraud that has become our federal government.
The change is coming whether we like it or not, the unsustainable welfare state is coming to a close. If we redirect our efforts now to job creation and empowering folks that can be productive to make a better life for themselves and their families we’ll surely reduce the number of recipients for the various entitlement programs. As far as social security – without an ‘opt out’ for younger workers it is essentially a theft of their hard earned money which serves to deny free working people the right to protect their own future. We all know that the system will be broke in a decade or so based on the rising number of recipients compared to the number of earners. It’s a simple math problem. ‘Privatizing’ is a political buzz word intended to create a level of fear among voters. Those voters in turn keep sending the same thieves back to Washington to make the situation worse. Either we face the reality of the dire situation now or later but we’ll face it for sure. If we deal with it now – specifically adopt a plan like the one proposed by Pat Toomey on the Senate side we have a shot at a balanced budget, without shirking our responsibility to debt service, military pay and social security payments. The President is being disingenuous at best when he threatens to skip social security payments. His extreme partisan ideology has given us trillions in new debt and layers of regulation and bureaucracy that are choking the private sector.
The longer we wait to deal with the debt as adults the better the chance we’ll have passed a point of no return when more Americans are living off the work of others – and just as the communist system collapsed in on itself, the American experiment will surely come to a close when the production stops. Congressman Paul Ryan had a very strong message in front of a group in Chicago a few weeks back – essentially saying we shouldn’t be talking about ‘shared scarcity’ – we should be talking about creating a new prosperity – creating jobs and fostering economic growth. The government cannot create wealth – only redistribute what is created in the private sector. We’re at a back-to-basics moment – time to act and force a course correction before we’re all living in shared poverty.