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It’s Been a Good Ride

We Are Out of Money

Where We Are...

Posted on April 10,2011

Nobody can say that he/she have not enjoyed or been the beneficiary of Liberal policies. It may not have jumped out at you; a lot of them are less obvious. You may be familiar with social security, but our everyday lives also depend upon the goodies passed out by Federal and State Governments.

Your kids may be eating taxpayer funded meals at school. Senior citizens depend upon the Government for their medical care. We feed the hungry, and house the poor. Single parents get help through several programs. The state collects and disburses child support checks. The government pays for research at our universities, and subsidizes college tuitions.

The government is also the watchdog over our food supply and makes sure that it is safe. We subsidize farmers for a lot of reasons – even in times of plenty. Our lives are measurably improved because of regulations that prevent us from polluting and turning our nation into a cesspool. The United States is comparatively large when compared to the other countries in Europe, Africa, and Central and South America and yet, we have a modern highway system in all states. We are welcoming to our immigrants as well as our gatecrashers.

Fishing licenses and permits prevent us from depleting our fish populations and the government supplies the bureaucracy to enforce the rules. We have installed bureaucracies to watch over and enforce our medicines, café standards, education, use of atomic energy, trade, and the type of light bulbs we use.

Space prevents me from listing more, but there is more…a lot more. So what is there not to like about liberalism? Nothing, nothing at all. So why do I complain about liberals and want a smaller and more conservative government?

The answer is simple, liberalism runs out of money. We may want to do for everybody, but it isn’t sustainable. We very much need adjustments to the process of problem solving, and that does not mean returning to the days of avarice and greed we remember from the past.

Tackling all problems from a central government with the one-size fits all solutions is ruinous from many directions. First, it is more expensive because we have to create or add to existing administrative bureaucracies to oversee those monster programs. Second, the problem we are solving may not be an issue in all states. Third, and most important, centralization diminishes a citizen’s ability to get their voices heard.

Henry David Thoreau popularized the old quote, “That government is best which governs least,” in Civil Disobedience. You may want to think about that quote. Centralization diminishes each citizen. That is why keeping issues as local as possible is very important. As an individual, you have a much better chance of influencing a city or county body than a state of federal body. Most issues are local, not all, but most. When the decision making process renders the local process useless, then citizens are disenfranchised. The federal government has many tools in the toolbox to force local bodies to do their bidding as opposed to the needs and wants of the local citizens. We as the voters have empowered the federal government with this power. Most cities, counties, states, and school boards must bend to will of the central government or risk loss of funds. Several years ago, easy money from the federal government looked to local administrators, like a better deal than facing the local population and negotiating wi th the citizens. The local population was supportive at the time because they would get a benefit without having to pony up for it.

As in all matters dealing with finances, the end user of a benefit becomes subservient and dependent upon the provider. Others have written about this more eloquently than I ever could. But freedom is precious and anything that makes you more dependent, also takes away a part of your freedom. That is why issues that are not really national issues, should be decided upon and administered as close to the citizens as possible. Such an issue might be a school board wanting to install a swimming pool in their school facility. They should not need to process that issue with the state or the federal government. Local issues that get decided locally also make a statement about who they are as a community or city. Businesses and industries like to locate their companies in cities and towns that have thrifty habits and keep their taxes low. High taxation rates generate little enthusiasm from prospective businesses. We are already seeing the mass exodus of businesses from the high tax states to the states and even other countries that want those jobs.

Look, I could ‘what if’ the above scenario to death, but the reality of the problem is that we cannot afford to do everything for everybody.

Cracks in the walls of our national finances started appearing years ago with increased taxes, legalizing of state lotteries, and numerous taxes from every quarter to try and pay for all of those benefits. Retirement programs have gone unfunded because the money wasn’t there. Even with those warning signs, we demanded more, and more, and more from a government that was already sagging from trying to keep up. That’s the problem with liberalism; it runs out of money. Liberalism and its cousin’s socialism and communism have a 100% failure rate. We as a people have got to draw the line on our beneficence at some place.

The clock is ticking and without reforms in our spending, it will reach critical mass. No, I’m not advocating yanking the rug out from anyone presently depending on the government. But we would be wise to start thinking about being a little more self-reliant if we still have at least 20 years of productivity left.

We have a tremendous foreign debt and unless we take the steps now to address it, our kids, and grandkids will suffer and have to live under the heavy yoke of dependence. Yes, debt creates servitude. I would hope that we clean our mess up and not leave it to our kids and grandkids. If we do, they will no longer be able to chart their own course through life because of being saddled with our debt. We will have squandered their chances just so we can make a cushy life for ourselves. But I repeat, the last 50 years have been a good ride – only now, we are going to have to pay for it…or should I say our descendants will. Like the ending to all liberal-progressive societies, the money runs out.



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