Most of us well remember the financial crisis of 2008. Poor choices and decisions made by people, banks, politicians, and some businesses, created a house of cards and a gust of wind brought it down. Not to worry, government to the rescue! Later that year, the politicians and the Fed decided it was in our best interest to borrow $700 billion and bailout the companies who had made the biggest mistakes.
In 2009, we were reminded how terrible things were and once again, we looked to those who had created the problem to then solve it. Over $800 billion was borrowed to pump into the economy via “shovel ready” projects and other infrastructure ventures. Obama admitted a year later “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects.”
So in two years, our debt was increased by $1.5 trillion ostensibly to save the economy and create jobs, something only the government was capable of doing? According to the US Treasury the national debt in George W Bush’s first year was $5.6 trillion. I personally was outraged at the spending that went on during the Bush years. By the last year of his presidency, and before the 2008 crisis, the debt had nearly doubled to $10 trillion.
With eight years of the Obama presidency in the history books, the debt once again doubled to $20 trillion. So from the founding to 224 years, we accumulated $5.6 Trillion in debt. We added $4.4 trillion during the eight years of Bush and another $10 trillion during the eight years of Obama. To what end?
Government plays games with numbers. While Germany’s Joseph Goebbels is widely believed to be the premier propagandist of all time, he can’t hold a candle to what we are exposed to today in America. We are told officially, that inflation is low, however, we as consumers know the truth. It is in government’s own interest to keep the number artificially low. Social security, food stamps, school lunch programs, military, and federal retirement benefits are all tied to the CPI, Consumer Price Index. This is essentially a measure of consumer spending habits, not a look at inflation. If an increase in inflation is officially recognized, it triggers increases to all the above spending.
Unemployment is officially under 5%. However, if you have given up looking for work or have a part time job, you are taken out of the equation. Real current unemployment is 8.6%, and some say closer to 10%. Texas took a huge hit with Hurricane Harvey. Florida and much of the southeast is under the gun with Hurricane Irma approaching. The federal government has already promised money for Hurricane Harvey victims and no doubt will for victims of Hurricane Irma – once again – all borrowed money. How many businesses will be destroyed? Yes, jobs will be created to do cleanup and repair, however they are temporary jobs.
President Trump has discussed a $1 trillion stimulus package for infrastructure. Again, this would be borrowed money, and many republicans seem all too anxious to spend money to be popular and get re-elected. There seems to be no end to the madness.
One day, long ago, a man spent a significant amount of time in foreign countries. He made an astute observation. “I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer.” He went on to say that the less that was done for them, the better off they became. He understood there are at least two segments of society, wagon riders and wagon pullers. Many people have no desire to pull the wagon and if given the chance, they never will. Benjamin Franklin wrote this in 1766, the entire passage is available here.
We have to understand there have always been those who believed themselves superior, better able to make decisions and choices for other people than they would make for themselves. King George was such a man and there was a deep division in the colonies as to whether we should cast off his “guidance and protection”. Our Revolution was closer to a civil war than a revolution.
While many today believe we are free, they are making the comparison in the wrong places. We can compare America to Europe or most other nations and see we are freer in some ways, but if we look to our past we can see we have lost much. It is in the politician’s best interest to make you believe you have every reason to be content and that everything they do is FOR you. It is actually TO you!
“The reason there will be no change is because the people who stand to lose from change have all the power. And the people who stand to gain from change have none of the power.” ~ Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli
You don’t have to be a history major to know our founders did not build a huge stimulus package into the constitution, nor did the congress pass one. They unleashed the spirit that had been caged by tyranny. If you read the list of grievances in the Declaration, many of them are true today…yet we have been fooled into thinking it’s for our own good.
Yes, the world’s greatest stimulus package was our Declaration of Independence, cemented by the rule of law in our Constitution. The reason there has never been another nation that has exploded with opportunity in such a relatively short time, there has never been another Republic with our sense of freedom and our Constitution. The further we stray, the more we lose … not only for us, but for our progeny.