Global Warming vs. Congressional Spending – Which Will Destroy America First?

By Richard H. Frank

To most Americans, myself included, it is difficult to grasp the enormous numbers associated with our National debt. I hear commentators making statements that the debt had doubled over the past eight years, or that government has increased the debt greater than all the debt incurred since founding the Republic. These statements and comparisons mean little without understanding what has occurred throughout the history of this magnificent nation. Since each of us have a limited view, based upon our life experiences, of what has happened with the National Debt I have attempted to examine and trace its history based upon time and major events, or legislation affecting how we arrived where we are today.

Time Frame: Duration: Average National Debt: Multiple Increase: Major Events:

1791 – 1860      69 years       $53.3 Million Dollars              Base Line “0”   Founding the Nation.

1865 – 1915      50 years       $1.2 Billion Dollars                      4 Times            Growing the Nation.

1920 – 1960     40 years       $135.6 Billion Dollars             254 Times        New Deal /Social Security WWI – WWII.

1965 – 1990    26 years        $1.7 Trillion Dollars            3189 Times         Medicare/Medicaid, The Great Society and Civil Rights legislation.

1991 – 2000    9 Years            $4.9 Trillion Dollars           9193 Times       First Iraq War / Tax Inc.

2000 – 2006   6 years     $7.1 Trillion Dollars     13320 Times     9-11 Attack –  Second Iraq war –  Prescription drug program.

2006 – 2009    3 years        S14.0 Trillion Dollars          26266 times       Financial Bailouts /Stimulus / Nationalizing Auto Industry.

It becomes obvious that some major influence altered our philosophy about incurring a growing national debt between the first 119 years and the second 114 years of our 233 year history. That influence presented itself about 1920, and has persisted at varying degrees, within government ever sense. There is no doubt that the political philosophy for progressivism and social activism has been ever present in the Congressional and Executive ranks of government starting with Woodrow Wilson and continuing with both Roosevelt presidencies and the  Johnson, Clinton and Obama administrations. The good intentions, for much of the social welfare legislation enacted over the past 70 years, has lacked a balance with our fiscal ability to meet the obligations created by that legislation. Redistribution of wealth through taxes, regulation of commerce and nationalization of businesses and natural resources has placed a strangle hold on the economic prosperity of the nation. The free enterprise system has been stifled and no longer used to find solutions to problems through free market activity. Additionally, it seems in vogue to create a crisis whenever it appears politically expedient for the administration, Republican or Democratic, to do so. Global Warming and the Health Care crisis are the most recent examples of misdirected attention for government resources. Government spending over the past 70 years has put the nation on a path toward socialism and more importantly since 2000 hurtling toward bankruptcy. We need not worry about global warming over the next 100 years when the Republic is at risk over the next 15 years.

Bankruptcy, simply defined is when we no longer have the resources (money) to meet our obligations. Since the United States left the gold standard we have relied upon our ability to produce goods and services or GDP as a means to guarantee the nations’ debt. Not since World War II has our debt exceeded our GDP. In fact the percentage of debt vs. GDP fell steadily until 1980 when it reached a low of 33.3%. Since then it has risen each year to 90.4% in 2009 and expected to exceed 100% under the Obama administration.

The ugly truth is that the forecasts do not recognize the unfunded liabilities for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid beyond 2014. At some point in the near future the United States must choose between “bankruptcy”, raising taxes or reducing benefit payments to the promised beneficiaries. These alternatives are all politically verging on suicide, but a reality that must be faced by our citizenry and elected representatives. History has shown that in the 30 years between 1950 and 1980 we took the national debt from 94.1% of GDP in 1950 to a low of 33.3% in 1980. That record was not due to government but the private sector steadily increasing the gross domestic product. Government needs to get out of the way of the private enterprise system and allow the ingénues and industrious private sector of the economy to flourish once again.

Scrap the intrusive legislation for the environment and health care and concentrate on a process to become energy independent through utilizing our existing oil reserves and nuclear power while rewarding invention for clean coal, natural gas, solar and wind technology development. That focus, coupled with tax relief for small business, will create a ground swell of employment and lead us out of our economic slump while increasing revenues for sustaining the country’s infrastructure and reducing the national debt. These actions have been shown to work after WWII and can work again if Congress is responsible and restrained in their spending.

This generation need not worry about global warming but that an out of control Congress will enslave our children and grandchildren with a debt that cannot be repaid. Ultimately, these actions will lead to the destruction of our Republic. Insist that our elected representatives return to the values and principles contained in the Constitution and encourage capitalism as the free enterprise engine for America.

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