Look at what is going on in Greece and you’ll understand what is driving the grass-roots uprising taking place across our country.
It’s perfectly clear that big-government, welfare-state policies drove Greece into bankruptcy and that the path on which our own Democrat-controlled government has put our nation mirrors where Greece and other European welfare states have gone.
As much as those on the left want to portray tea partiers as right-wing nut cases, or as racists, truth is these are rational, clear-thinking Americans who see our beloved nation being wrecked. They are serving as an early warning system that the things Americans hold most dear are in danger.
Government spending accounts for 50 percent of Greece’s national output, and taxes take 40 percent of it. Debt exceeds 100 percent of GDP. One-third of everyone employed in Greece works for the government.
Now they can’t pay the interest on their massive debt – and violence has hit the streets as Greeks discover that on the other end of what they thought were entitlements are empty government promises.
Just a few years ago, American debt was about 35 percent of our GDP. Now it’s double that, and projections show it approaching 100 percent in just a few years.
President Obama’s budget calls for $3.83 trillion in spending in 2011. Ten years ago the federal budget was $1.86 trillion.
A year and half ago our newly elected president sold the American public the idea that an almost trillion-dollar stimulus was needed to keep unemployment from going over 8 percent. Today unemployment hovers at slightly below 10 percent.
There’s a debate going on about whether it’s accurate to call our president a socialist.
Here’s what I say.
Socialism has three key characteristics, all of which I believe he buys into.
First, socialism disdains private property as sacred. Any doubt where our president stands on this? As former Council of Economic Advisors head Greg Mankiw notes regarding the health-care bill, the prime motive was not “health per se but … redistribution of income.”
Recent data from the Tax Foundation make this clear. Families in the upper 1 percent of income will pay an average of $52,000 more in taxes, and families in the bottom 50 percent will get an average of $1,000 in benefits.
Second, socialism puts faith in government social engineering. Just think government health care, government takeovers of banks and car companies, and cap-and-trade.
And third, socialism is godless, secular religion. It sees human redemption in government planning. I’ll get nasty letters by saying our president also signs on to this. But consider the facts. He endorses abortion, including partial-birth abortion, and the legitimacy of sexual behavior that traditional religion abhors. He believe in the redemptive possibilities of government planning, and, going beyond tolerating all religions, he presents them all as equally legitimate.
In this context, I would only point to the incredible dis-inviting of Pastor Franklin Graham to the National Day of Prayer ceremonies at the Pentagon.
Consider the three points above and see their relevance to the collapsed Greek nation in Europe.
The secular religion of government – which I would call socialism – is a lie and a failure.
Other than the left-wing elite, the only others in this country willing to buy into this are low-income individuals. But they aren’t buying in for ideological reasons. When a politician shows up at their door with money taken from others, do we expect them to say “no thanks”?
They only will say no if they hear from their pastor that it is wrong.
So here we are at the crossroads today.
Are we going to be Greece, or will we wake up to the inconvenient truth called reality?