The current government shutdown has statists all in a tizzy. Democratic congressmen and mainstream media pundits have been blabbering all week about how we are doomed because Republicans in the House of Representatives refuse to approve more wasteful federal spending thereby allowing the government to continue to function. For these folks, it is the end of the world if Washington is not the center of decision making and the purveyor of all of life’s provisions for the American people. The incessant chatter of how a small group of “extremists” in the House is holding the whole country hostage got old pretty darn quick and I found myself reaching for the remote to quell the noise on more than one occasion.
I mean what is so extreme about attempting to change the disastrous course the country is currently on? Can the federal government continue to rack up enormous deficits each month with no end in sight? Are we able to take on another massive entitlement program? Finally, after five years of managing the economy and producing no economic recovery, is it not time to admit failure and try something new? If Republicans love America, they must stick to their guns and demand changes before any budget deal is agreed to.
For one thing, it is no secret that Washington wastes billions of dollars each year and a lot of the spending has nothing to do with the welfare of the American people. It includes everything from $10 million to create a version of “Sesame Street” for Pakistani television to $2.6 million to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly. None of it is constitutional and none of it enriches the lives of ordinary Americans.
Then there is Obamacare – the president’s signature legislative accomplishment. The increased costs that come with that scheme will be enormous. Much of the costs will be covered by federal subsidies which will further exacerbate the national debt. Because it is another entitlement program, future lobbying for protection of the system and increased benefits will rival that of Social Security and Medicare thereby causing huge unfunded liabilities of its own. Yet, Democrats refuse to even consider delaying the law for one year.
In the final analysis, the way to get America back on the path to economic prosperity is not through big government programs supported with huge budget deficits. That has been proven over the last five years. The road to a bright economic future is through small government and balanced federal budgets. The greatest period of economic growth in our nation’s history came when deficits were low and the largest federal program was the U.S. Postal Service. Between 1869 and 1879 America’s economy grew 6.8 percent (NNP equals GDP minus capital depreciation) per year. When the 20th Century began, America was the world’s leader in per capita income and industrial production. Real wages increased greatly and prices of goods and services remained steady.
We have spent over $7 trillion in the last 5 years and what has it gotten us? Lagging wages, continued high unemployment, and higher prices are the result.
An immense fiscal and monetary crisis is eventually going to engulf America. It is already too late to prevent it. Over 40 years of profligate federal spending and monetary recklessness is quickly coming to a head. If Republicans back down to the big spenders and pass a budget which increases the debt ceiling and funds Obamacare the collapse will be that much worse. If they really love America, they must keep the government closed down. Maybe we can salvage some of our doomed economy?