Beggaring our kids
April 20, 2009
On April 15, I attended a tea party in Frisco. No, not the Earl Grey kind. The stop-spending-my-grandchildren-into-penury kind.
There were speakers, petitions, comments from attendees, conversations in the audience and the obligatory posters and handbills. All sorts showed up: retirees, families with young children, business owners, workers, curious passers-by. There was some intemperate language, but for the most part it was a civil, earnest and focused crowd.
Although taxation was the topic, the underlying issue for most participants was the danger the Obama Administration’s unprecedented deficits poses to the future of the country ” and to our children and grandchildren. These debts have the real potential to smash our national economy and beggar our future, as far as the eye can see.
As I listened and chatted, I thought of my grandson and his prospects. The current administration, if unchecked, will add as much to the national debt as the 43 previous administrations combined. They propose to saddle my grandchild ” and yours, and all of ours ” with a bill they will work all their lives to pay, without success. Their lives will be constrained, their opportunities limited and their circumstances poorer, as a result.
It’s not that taxes and government spending are of themselves evil. Our Founders recognized their necessity and legitimacy; that is one of the reasons we have the form of government we do. Infrastructure improvements including roads, bridges and other encouragements to trade are among the uses they foresaw funding. So is the promotion and regulation of interstate commerce. And national security. Don’t forget, our third president, Thomas Jefferson, had a piracy problem too. It ended when the Marines hit the “Shores of Tripoli.”
But these uses are tertiary in the current administration’s “emergency spending” and budget bills. Instead, they propose spending enormous new sums of money, robbed from the future, in an attempt to create the Democrat version of Utopia, and to perpetuate their party in power. To achieve this goal, they will use the time-honored tradition of the ward heeler and party boss: vote-buying. You, and your children and grandchildren are being told to empty your pockets to provide direct benefits to others, chosen by the government ” that is, by the Democrat party, in return for their votes.
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The administration will also use our grandchildren’s money to cripple our economy through the unilateral imposition of “cap-and-tax” environmental policies. The figures are already in on this, so get ready for huge increases in the cost of energy, and of everything energy touches. This cave-in to radical environmentalism spells bad sense in letters you can see from space.
They also insist on meddling with the companies to whom they gave our money in an ill-conceived and mismanaged attempt to bury our problems in mountains of cash. Prepare for the spectacle of people who couldn’t balance a budget at gunpoint running businesses that are supposed to make a profit. Imagine Barney Frank and Chris Dodd running the Bank of America. Oh, wait ” you don’t have to imagine it. Just read the news.
So yes, there are legitimate concerns about the spending priorities of the Obama Administration, and it is proper for people to meet and voice them. As to the commonplace counter to concerns about profligacy ” the whine that “Bush started it” ” yes, it’s true. It’s also the logic of the kindergarten and the playground; that’s the way a 6-year-old argues, not a responsible adult. It doesn’t matter who started it. What matters is that the madness ends. Quickly.
Would that we had the wisdom of our Founders; the wisdom to understand that the future will be hard for us, and for our children because of mistakes we all have made. The wisdom to understand that we will have to work harder, for less ” and that for things to be better, we will have to ignore those who whisper that we can have it all through someone else’s sacrifice ” because there really is no free lunch. Would that we had the wisdom to understand that for a government to take wealth that an individual or a small business creates, there must be a compelling national interest, not just a desire to perpetuate a party’s hold on power.
The last time we forgot these truths, Jimmy Carter was president. The highest level of unemployment since the Great Depression, coupled with double-digit inflation for more than three years resulted. And the budget deficit in 1980, the last year of the Carter Administration, was about $41 billion ” less than 3 percent of what it’s projected to be in the first year of the Obama Administration.
So no, Nancy, this isn’t Astroturf. It’s real. Get used to people pushing back. After all, “it’s about the children.” And grandchildren.