The U.S. Census Bureau released statistics recently (expertly summarized by Terrence Jeffrey of CNS News, April 2014) that reported the shocking financial mess that politicians have created by their unfettered spending for more than a half century. The efforts of idealists to make the U.S.A. a heaven on earth has placed in jeopardy the future security of millions of Americans.
The ideologists who lead the nation are the same today as those who led the road to Utopia for more than a half-century. They bought their way into power with federal programs the nation couldn't afford; they are doing it again (e.g. Obamacare) in an attempt to retain power in 2014 and 2016. This trend toward ever bigger and more intrusive government (socialism) must be stopped if America is to survive as a prosperous nation of free men.
National debt is the 800 pound Gorilla in the room when any subject dealing with national or international affairs is seriously discussed. It is now approaching $18 trillion. The president's 2013 budget projects a $6.4 trillion increase by 2022; it doesn't budge on entitlement spending, the fundamental cause of annual increases in deficits and debt since the 1960s -- they will grow and grow for as far as the eye can see.
Those who have sought to convert the American Republic into a European-type socialistic form of government are responsible for by the numbers reported by the Census Bureau, mentioned above. Progressives have made great progress since the 1960s. It will not be easy to slow them down -- it may be too late.
Before getting too far into the weeds, it is helpful to get a few definitions of words clear so that we all understand what is being said:
• Socialism - A system of government that controls the distribution of wealth. This is the definition the writer was taught, and (for convenience) it is the one that will be used in this column. Socialism, understood this way, is a stepping stone that inevitably leads to Communism.
• Communism - A system of government that controls the ownership and the distribution of wealth; the right to private property does not exist under Communism; other rights like free speech, free worship etc., are early victims of the Communist state.
• Dictatorship - The inevitable end of communism -- one man rule.
America was still a Republic until the mid-1920s, under which (said the Declaration of Independence) "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights ...."
From Presidents Wilson to Carter, the principles that supported the U.S. Constitution were effectively challenged to a degree never before imagined. Three major effects have emerged: The size of the federal government has grown enormously; the rights of the American people have diminished; the U.S. Supreme Court has been politicized..
And the nation ended up with the following statistical profile:
• 103 million people work more than 35 hours per week - about 17 million are government workers; 86 million (the makers) produce the nation's wealth.
• 109 million people are in subsidized housing; one or more people in those households (the takers) participate in one or more federal programs.
• The makers support, fully or partly, 1.3 takers.
• The government has not been able to afford all of its "taker" programs for decades. The government borrows to support them; debt climbs, and climbs, and ....
Everybody accepts the idea of a safety net for the old and needy. But for how long can so few support so many free loaders? Margaret Thatcher had an answer to that question: "The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."
Income redistribution (socialism) by the government has been an objective of socialists within the Democratic Party since Amendment XVI (income tax - 1916) was passed . FDR (1933-45) gave a primer to the Democratic Party on how to expand the size of government, which they religiously followed until they lost congressional control (1994). President Obama (2008-) has accelerated control over income redistribution, and has made serious inroads into private sector fields (banking, housing, education, energy, automotive, etc.).
America 2014 is a long way from its roots. If it doesn't reverse course, the financial markets will eventually force it to employ Draconian corrective measures, which will bring a needless level of pain to millions of Americans who trusted their politicians with the keys to the car.
Robert Kelly, author of several books on baseball and history/politics, is also a freelance, award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in many newspapers. His latest books, The National Debt of the United States and Neck and Neck to the White House, are available at Amazon and the better bookstores. His e-mail address is [email protected]