This was done with a fundamental understanding and implementation of the free enterprise system, and with limited government regulation and interference.
But the current generation of American leaders falls far short of the record and successes of their predecessors. Our current leaders are fostering dependence on government rather than individual initiative and accountability.
Here are some examples:
Federal debt has climbed to nearly $17 trillion – a bill of more than $53,000 per person that we are leaving to our children. And the bill is climbing every second.
Our nation’s annual deficit – the difference between what we take in and what the government spends – has topped $1 trillion for the past four years. The federal government must borrow 42 cents for every dollar it spends.
Astonishingly, in his budget blueprint that is being released two months late, our president – whose financial credibility is so low that his budgets never get even one Democratic vote in Congress – is prescribing taking money instead of cutting spending. He wants to take more money out of the staggering private economy through higher taxes and feeding it to a federal government that is already gorging and yet can’t make ends meet. The president’s budget would continue deficit spending indefinitely.
Food stamp use set a record last year, with nearly 48 million Americans on it at the close of 2012. And the federal government is practically begging more people to sign up.
Meanwhile, the number of Americans working or gamely looking for a job dropped by half a million last month –
leaving the “labor force participation rate” at a low not seen
since the malaise days of Jimmy Carter.
And even as 500,000 left the work force, the economy created an anemic 88,000 jobs in March, not even enough to keep pace with population growth.
All this has happened despite the Federal Reserve’s printing more money, and risking hyperinflation, in order to maintain the illusion of a recovery.
Nor is Obamacare likely to help. Employers still don’t completely know how it will affect them, but what they’ve seen so far isn’t good: Insurance premiums are rising and are expected to skyrocket – and punitive portions of the health care law make it quite unpleasant to hire, particularly full-time. And every reputable study shows health care costs will go up for all Americans.
Presidential candidate John McCain in 2008 sounded silly and irrelevant when he claimed the nation’s fundamentals were strong, even as they melted
Nearly five years later, the fundamentals may actually be worse.
What happens when Washington has fired all of its magic bullets? What happens when our creditors decide we’re no longer a good risk? What happens when all that Monopoly money they’re printing turns out to be worth less than before, and inflation kicks in and interest rates skyrocket? Note: Interest rates have nowhere else to go but up.
What happens when, as Margaret Thatcher predicted of socialist schemes, we actually do run out of other people’s money – as they already are in Western Europe?
Even the stock market’s recent rally, fueled largely by the money-printing, is a bubble that is sure to burst, writes former Reagan budget director David Stockman, in a March 30 column in The New York Times – titled “State-Wrecked: The Corruption of Capitalism in America” – and his new book, The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America: “The United States is broke – fiscally, morally, intellectually,” he writes.
Not only won’t our leaders tell us these truths, but they’re actively propagating the fiction that all will soon be well if we just stay the course.
We’ve been so busy trying to avoid the least bit of pain – by shifting it ahead to our children and grandchildren – that the lies feel all the better.
The people of this nation had better awaken to what we are doing to it, and fast.
We need a balanced budget. We need a long-term plan to deal with our overwhelming amount of debt. We need term limits in Congress to end the careerism that is corrupting it. For that matter, we also need bureaucrat limits. We need to stop punishing truth-tellers at the ballot box – and return to JFK’s admonition not to ask what our country can do for us.
We need to balance the books in government, before they tip over on all of us.
Mostly, we desperately need a return to the kind of self-reliant, selfless citizenship the Greatest Generation modeled for us, and which we have mindlessly and foolishly shunned.
And we need to pray that we haven’t done so too late.