As I sit here taking in the news that the Congress and the President have reached a budget deal to avert a shutdown of the federal goverment, I'm not sure in which direction to vent my frustration. I am profoundly disappointed in my Republican Party, and fed up with the sob stories and vacuous slogans coming from the Democrats any time their pet projects, especially the ones involving the murder of unborn children, are threatened. I am annoyed with the press, long ago exposed as the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party, that has the nerve to call conservatives "purveyors of fear" even as they write about all the eldery and children who will die in the streets if the government is shut down for even one day.
America, we've got to stop acting like a bunch of teenagers, or we're done. It's that simple. If that's purveying fear, then I'm guilty as charged. This is a rant, so forgive me if it's not coherent.
Liberals, spare me your whining about corporate welfare and tax cuts for the rich and all that other garbage. Here's some hard numbers for you.
We currently spend about $3.2 trillion dollars in one fiscal year. Of that $3.2 trillion dollars, about $600 billion is defense spending and $600 billion is "domestic discretionary spending." There's $2 trillion still out there, almost two-thirds of the budget, and it's called Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. If you don't do anything about those three programs, you're not serious about cutting the budget, and you're just stalling so you can keep spending. You can't or won't see the welfare state imploding before your eyes.
This is the arrogance of socialism that pushes me to the brink of intemperance. Advocates ignore the smoking ash heap of failed socialist regimes past, and the death dive of current socialist regimes in Europe, and presume their failures are simply because "they didn't do it right."
The failures are inherent in the system because it violates every tenet of human nature that we've known since time immemorial, and which any parent knows - you get what you incentivize.
We've incentivized the abdication of individuals, families and communities being self-sufficient at the local level, and preserving the big things - national defense, international relations, interstate commerce, et. al. - for the federal government.
Instead, we expect the federal government to be our mother, father, community, church and every single other institution that formerly existed to build and affirm society, and we've become a nation of dullards because of it. The lanes in the road have been sanded away, and with the lumbering dinosaur of government taking up all the lanes, it has brought all other traffic to a halt.
Read Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America. His analysis of what makes America work, and the dangers that would come if we threw community institutions over the side in favor of largess from the federal treasury, is eerily prescient. It was localism and subsidiarity, and every institution staying within its clearly defined boundaries, that resulted in our rapid growth into the most prosperous, most generous and most powerful nation that has ever existed.
It is the violation of those boundaries, not the supposed hoarding of resources by the so-called rich, whose combined wealth, if taken from them in their entirely and applied to the federal budget, would be like throwing a cup of water onto a 5-alarm house fire.
In fact, this video and the article which inspired it highlight the absolute idiocy of the whole "eat the rich" mantra coming from the adolescents on the left. Allow me to take an excerpt from them and amplify it to illiustrate my point, since you probably won't watch the video or read the article for fear your head would explode.
If you could confiscate every penny of profit from every Fortune 500 company, that would only net you $391 billion. If, in your wildest wet dreams, you could steal ALL the income of ALL households in America making over $250,000, you'd come up with $1.412 trillion. Current revenues are around $1.9 trillion, so congratulations! You've paid off the annual deficit and left a surplus of $503 million. You also have no money to contend with the next year's budget deficit, and there will be a huge deficit after you've obliterated practically all revenue-generating entities in the nation.
SInce you took all profits from every Fortune 500 company, they have ceased operations because businesses fail when they don't make a profit. That is the sole purpose of business, to create wealth through profits. They're not charities and they're not churches, but you wouldn't know what those are since you've neither set foot in one or contributed in any significant way to one in years. Oh, and now that you've wiped out the Fortune 500 and the 2,238,800 households earning more than $250,000 a year, your unemployment rate just set a new record.
Now that you've essentially robbed all wealthy people of their money, declaring them all unworthy of what they earned with their blood, their toil, their tears, their sweat, without cause or a trial, they will either be in soup lines with the rest of us, or they'll go find a country where honest hard work and success are respected as they once were here in America, and start over again. Of course, the only reason there will be soup lines is that the government has long since gone bankrupt, and churches and communities can actually step in again and do what they were designed to do.
Absurd? You bet.
Equally absurd is the notion that by eliminating corporate subsidies - a step I favor, by the way - and raising their taxes, as well as the taxes of those making more than $250,000 a year, you're going to make a difference in reducing the annual deficits and the national debt. The national debt is over $14 trillion. We spend $8.8 billion a day and, if President Obama's budget were enacted as is, we would be spending $10 billion a day. The unfunded liabilites of Social Security and Medicare are over 7.7 times the size of the current national debt, over $109 trillion. Your windfall from eliminating corporate welfare and raising taxes on "the rich" is chump change. Grow up.
Speaking of chump change, is $39 billion in cuts the best you can do, GOP? After all the tears and speeches about having learned your lesson, are you Republicans so afraid of being called names by the big, bad Democrats that you couldn't stand your ground and make some serious headway against these deficits? That's slightly more than one percent of the annual budget - boy, I'm so excited! Senator Rand Paul says that $200 billion a year would only cover the debt service, so $39 billion, which President Obama is declaring "the largest annual spending cut in our history," is almost as useless as doing nothing.
Of course $39 billion is "the largest annual spending cut in our history" - to a Democrat. They only have two speeds: tax and spend.
And if $39 billion is all you could get, couldn't you at least have assured that Planned Parenthood and National Public Radio never get a single penny of taxpayer money again - ever?
The Democrats have sacrificed their souls on the altar of abortion to the point where they would let the government grind to a screeching halt and our troops in battle go unpaid. Had you held your ground, that would have been a powerful message to send to Americans who, whether pro-choice or pro-life, don't believe that government should be paying for killing unborn children.
And make no mistake about it; government money going into Planned Parenthood coffers is used to promote abortion services, and frees up other cash that can then be used in their abortuaries. Abortion is the cash cow, and all the mooing you heard this week about women and girls losing vital health services was really the abortion ox being gored. Abby Johnson, a Planned Parenthood director for eight years before her conscience and faith would no longer allow her to be a party to infanticide, describes a corporate culture which revolves around abortion.
Incidentally, crisis pregnancy centers offer free health services to women, and they do it without government funds. In fact, they do it while under attack from Planned Parenthood and their allies, who are inordinately threatened by and hostile toward these centers because they're bad for business - the abortion business, which is the core distinction between the two. One is committed to preserving life, while the other is committed to snuffing it out. Otherwise, why would Planned Parenthood even care about what they do?
The fact is that Planned Parenthood needs government funds and abortion profits to stay open, unless they can persuade all those generous liberals who believe so much in charity to make up the difference in lost government funding. Taxpayers should not be forced to fund an activitity that over half of Americans think is immoral, and it's a strawman argument to say women's rights are threatened when the issue here isn't the legality of abortion, but whether or not government should be funding it.
The same goes for NPR. Let them have a year-long pledge drive if they must, but get them off the government dole!
Writer Joel Belz said it best, and this statement should apply to every government function that is not constitutionally mandated:
"Now, it's everyone for himself. Everyone's on his own. Charge your customers. Charge your advertisers. Look for small gifts or look for big ones. But don't ask us any longer for annual handouts."
If we can't count on the Republicans, who were handed back the reins after two electoral spankings and time-out sessions, to stem the tide of spending, then who is left to prevent our slide into socialism?
Certainly not the Democrats, who think all the wisdom of the ages resides in their caucus on Capitol Hill.
A woman in the audience gently pushed back against my dire warnings, concerned that I was being alarmist, and not trusting the people and their public servants to see the signs of disaster in time enough to pull back from the brink. I acknowledged her point and suggested that my objective was not to alarm, but to encourage prudence.
Well, after tonight, I'm convinced that our elected officials in Washington are having a big sleepover and are totally oblivious to what is happening to us out here. They need to grow up, and we need to help them either grow up or get out. It's time to graduate from the children's table to the adult table.