In answering that question honestly, one must look past self-serving political rhetoric – even beyond the economic numbers, which continue to be dismal.
In assessing the state of the country, much like the condition of a house, it’s best to look first at the foundation.
It is cracked and fissured.
This much is incontrovertible: The nation has taken on more debt, and the government more power, leaving Americans fewer freedoms and less opportunity.
Much of what the government does today is constitutionally questionable, at best. What it does do, it often does horribly: Trying to manipulate the nascent alternative energy industry, for instance, the Obama administration lost half a billion dollars on Solyndra, a failed solar panel maker the president once touted as a success story. In this case, as in others, it has been friends of the administration who benefited from the taxpayers’ forced largesse.
In other countries, they call that corruption.
Meanwhile, over half the states are suing the government over its health-care law, while the Obama administration sues a growing number of states for attempting to uphold the rule of law in immigration and the integrity of the voting process.
Then there’s the current president, who has now made a career out of using class warfare and envy to divide a nation that’s still licking its racial wounds. Although the top 5 percent of earners pay nearly 60 percent of the taxes, and half the country pays no income taxes whatsoever, the other half isn’t paying its fair share, he keeps on saying.
He jokes that it’s not about class warfare, but about math. He’s half right: It’s about the math that tells him there are an awful lot of voters who love the idea of soaking those who have more money.
But as for notions of fairness, it’s not even about math: He admitted in a debate that he’d raise the capital gains tax on investments even if that resulted in less money. And when he talks of fairness, he seems to mean equality of outcome, not opportunity. That’s not an American ideal whatsoever. It’s more akin to the failed policies of socialism and communism.
Moreover, government-refereed outcomes that seek to level the playing field through forced and artificial redistribution of wealth aren’t fair.
Former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., summed up the state of the nation as well as anyone in a recent video – noting what a different track the country is on than the one he grew up in.
“Instead of freedom and
opportunity,” he said, “it’s one of debt, dependence, division and decline.”
Thompson recalled a 2001 report in which he had concluded the government back then was “bloated, wasteful, subject to massive fraud and basically out of control.
“A decade later, it’s worse.”
We are at a tipping point, he said – “one from which we may not return.”
That about sums up the state of the Union – unless and until our foundation is fixed.