By: Richard H. Frank
Benjamin Franklin is purported to have replied to the above question with “a Republic madam, if you can keep it.” Benjamin Franklin recognized the threat posed to a “Representative Republic” by partisan politics, special interests, and unrestrained growth of the central (Federal) government. The Constitution imposed heavy restrictions upon the three separate and equal branches of government and left the fabric of authority for legislation in the hands of the several individual states protected by the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.
Over the past 100 years liberal progressive manipulation of the Constitution has resulted in the creation of bloated bureaucracies at both the Federal and State levels of government with an unsustainable appetite to spend this nation and the states into bankruptcy. Even following the 2010 elections where the people confirmed their demand for fiscal responsibility and elimination of uncontrolled taxation and spending, Congress still has not passed a budget for the current fiscal year and the mythical threat of government shutdown is used to villify members of the opposing political party.
At the State level we have witnessed massive union demonstrations including invasion of State Capital buildings as the special interest groups rebel against legislative actions to restore fiscal responsibility.
Our elected representatives should take a lesson from the average American family as how to balance their personal budgets. Millions of American families across this nation have had to make difficult choices about where spending would have to be curtailed in order to continue providing the survival necessities for their family. In order to provide food, clothing and shelter the majority of Americans have found it necessary to curtail most if not all discretionary spending. Many have been forced to find multiple means of employment just to supply the necessities. For the millions out of work and those on fixed incomes (mostly seniors) the choices have become even more difficult. These individuals and their families, approaching 50 million in America, are faced in many instances with loss of their homes, ability to pursue higher educational opportunities and the threat of creeping inflation that diminishes the purchasing power of their fixed income. These sacrifices are real and equate to major spending reductions and belt-tightening on the part of individuals and families that in many instances approach 20 – 30% of their budgets. The pain being felt by these individuals is massive in comparison to the minor budget cuts currently being debated in legislatures at both state and federal government levels.
Political ideology seems to be substituted for facing reality within the Democrat caucuses in Congress. The debate over cutting $100 billion from the 2011 federal budget has become absurd when that amount is compared to the total spending incurred by the Federal Government. Depending on how the spending cuts are apportioned it amounts to less than 2% of the total budget for the year.
Democrats seem to think that as long as the FED has the ability to print dollars there is no urgency to imposing meaningful spending reductions. These legislators need to spend a day in the grocery store to see the impact that printing dollars has on the price of food, clothing and energy. All these items are excluded by government from calculating the consumer price index as the basis for determining inflation.
Congress needs to take a lesson from small businesses and American families and cut spending across the board by 20% wherein every bureaucratic agency will feel equal pain much the way the American public has felt it for the past two years or longer. Five years of 20% budget cuts would result in achieving fiscal equilibrium and the elimination of regulations that inhibit growth and would jump-start the economy.
Returning to spending levels experienced in 2008 would hardly impact the national security. In retrospect 2008 was a pretty good year in comparison to the past three years under the Democrat controlled Congress and the Obama administration. Unfortunately, as long as the likes of Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama remain in a position to forestall real fiscal reform, we can only look for incurring mounting deficits and mortgaging our grandchildren future. In the interim our standard of living will be diminished for every American.
Filed under: 112th Congress, Budget and Taxes, Debt and Deficit, Education, Energy, Jobs, National Defense and Security, U. S. Constitution | Tagged: bankruptcy, Congress, constitution, cost of living, foreclosures, Government Shutdown, jobs, national debt, Obama, prosperity, seniors, spending |