COLLECTIVIZATION OF POWER ...
DIMISHING OF FREEDOM
March 15, 2010
The Federal government is spending money we do not have and borrowing money we can never pay back. In fact, we are borrowing from future generations, mortgaging their future, and spending it into the present. That is pure and simple, spending without representation. It seems unbelievable to hard-working American taxpayers that with unfunded liabilities included, we are SIXTY trillion dollars in debt. No wonder, so many folks of all ages are troubled if not nervously upset and angry.
The President's budget for the next fiscal year paints a remarkably dire picture of a federal government that will need to borrow one-third of what it spends next year as it runs a deficit that will total some $1.6 trillion for the year. And this is at a time when in February, the number of unemployed persons was at 14.9 million, and the unemployment rate at 9.7 percent. And this particularly disturbing news after the Administration's laser like focus on "Jobs." We are witnessing unemployment rates with underemployment figures at nearly 20% and it has been increasing the past 12 months. Also, in the most recent reports, one out of every 136 homes in America had received a foreclosure notice, the highest rate yet.
There are advocates within the political arena who look to Washington to solve all of the problems of our times; and yet, these same individuals say that Washington is broken and can't get things done because of political divisiveness. They call for "change" but it seems that "change" is a euphemism for "big government." These are the days we hear of ever increasing number of agency regulatory requirements, larger government and massive new bureaucracies and an increasing number of non-elected appointed czars. All at a time when there seems to be political chicanery with such political dealings as the recent "Louisiana deal" and the "Cornhusker kickback." Unfortunately, during these times, there seems to be a greater penalty placed on those matters which ought to rewarded, such as individual hard work and prosperity, and, greater rewards given to those matters which substitute principle for self serving "political deals or near bribery." As one young person said recently, "What a 'topsy turvy, power seeking, stomach turning world." A culture of opportunity is being replaced by a culture of dependency.
"Our reasoning tell us, and history confirms, that the great threat to individual freedom is concentration of power." These are the words of the noted late economic scholar Milton Friedman. It seems to us, that almost everyone is in agreement that today government spends too much, too often, too recklessly, and at too many levels. It is just a financial fact, we cannot tax and spend our way to economic growth and prosperity.
So why do we consent to ever expanded and even more costly government? Currently, the total US government spending is over $6.2 trillion annually. This is about 42% of GDP. This does not even include state and local government spending. It is significant to realize that as more and more monies are concentrated in one location, more and more power and authority will follow and quickly to that central location. Polls show that Americans are increasingly uneasy and essentially nervous with the vast growth of government and the momentum of intrusive growth in bureaucratic regulations. In a recent ABC poll, Americans choose 58 percent to 38 percent to have less government intrusiveness in their lives. Americans are calling for common sense issues such as...a climate which promotes job growth, medical tort reform, medical insurance portability, and elimination of the medical preexisting condition clause. Also, they yearn for accountability in government, a cut runaway taxes, greater security in national defense, an end to corruption in politics, and greater efficiency in the affairs of regulatory management.
Some nations look to other nations for patterns. While nations differ, particular kinds of behavioral patterns produce particular kinds of results in country after country. Recently, it appears that the United States is imitating behavior patterns that have produced negative — and sometimes catastrophic — consequences in many other countries around the world. Among these patterns have been a concentration of decision-making power in government officials and the elites. What typically follows is an undermining of the role of individuals, a "non-judgmental" attitude toward behavior, and a dissolution of the common bonds that hold a society together, leading to self-indulgences and group-identity politics that increasingly pits different segments of society against each other.
There are those who say that we should "learn from other countries" almost invariably mean that we should imitate what other countries have done. Angelo Codevilla, professor of international relations at Boston University argues that we should learn from other countries’ mistake, especially when those same mistakes have repeatedly produced bad results in many countries and among many very different peoples, living under very different political systems. These repercussions have included not only serious economic losses but, even more importantly, a loss of personal freedom and personal initiative.
Barry Goldwater once pointed out that the concentration of power in Rome destroyed the Romans. Goldwater said "hopefully the time will come when we entrust the conduct of our affairs to persons who understand that their first duty as public officials is to divest themselves of the power they have been given." In brief, governments derive "their just powers from the consent of the governed," as per the Declaration of Independence. The traditional American philosophy teachers that government should be limited in power if Individual Liberty is to be safeguarded and if each Individuals's God-given unalienable rights are to be made and kept enduringly secure. This philosophy asserts that the self-governing people allow government to possess those powers with which the people think the government may sensibly be entrusted in order to serve their purposes without endangering their rights..their liberties or freedoms. These powers constitute the "just powers" of government, as the Declaration of Independence phrases it.
These principles apply today in America, as power expands and grows in Washington, D.C. It is that concentration of power which threatens to weaken America as we know it. Our Republic was formed to discipline power between the Federal, State, Local governments and individuals. Recall, power and resources are fixed, and as power grows in Washington it must come from somewhere, and most often, it is the individual who submits to giving up personal power often without knowing it. The more individual rights are diminished, the easier it becomes for the political ruling class of elites to maintain and consolidate power and achieve their power grabbing objectives.
At this time, when government spending is sharply on the increase and bureaucratic regulations are compounding rapidly, it comes at a cost of freedom and it is individual freedom which must be preserved and defended. Sadly, we see that freedom slipping away. And that is how we see it FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE.