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This year’s Independence Day was particularly meaningful because our way of life is facing an assault that possibly is worse than anything we have faced in decades. This attack is not from terrorists or foreign governments. It’s from a small minority on the far-left wing in this country who want to transform our society into a socialist state.

In a recent poll, 78 percent of Americans responded that they do not trust big government. In another recent survey, 90 percent of Americans responded that they do not think the government response to the financial crisis and the recession has benefited the economy. They’re right. It hasn’t. No jobs have been created. Growth has been anemic even though trillions of dollars have been spent in a misguided effort to stimulate the economy in all the wrong ways.

However, the left wing doesn’t care what the vast majority of Americans think or want. They also don’t care at all about stimulating the economy or creating jobs. They want to continue this government takeover of our economy because that is their ideology and because it benefits them personally.

Americans are naturally optimistic and think the best of people, even politicians and bureaucrats. Sometimes, like now, that can be a mistake. The assumption of most people who see these socialist policies not working is that the people running things are misguided, or ignorant, or even just unlucky. They are none of the above. Whether it is Obama’s team, or the regulators, or the left-wing leadership in Congress, this economic disaster they have created is all part of a plan. This is not a conspiracy because it is all out in the open.

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They have made it clear that they believe more government, and less of the private sector, is what we need in America. They have made it clear that they believe the government creates jobs, credit, housing and wealth rather than the private sector. They have made it clear that they don’t trust people to make decisions with their own money. They believe the government should decide what to do with the money that people earn. They believe the government should decide which businesses survive and which don’t. They believe that financial success is based on luck rather than innovation and work and it’s therefore only fair that the rewards of that success are redistributed to everyone via the government rather than allowing the individuals who achieved that success to decide what to do with their wealth.

They see an oil spill and, rather than trying to stop it and clean it up, they create regulations and lawsuits that will destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs and drive up energy costs for consumers. Then they give out a few billion dollars of taxpayer funds to green-energy companies and pretend that is the solution to our energy problems. They create taxes and regulations that prevent banks from lending and drive up their operating costs. Then they try to force banks to lend and provide services to politically favored customers even if it is unprofitable. Their tax, health-care and regulatory policies have crushed small businesses, which typically create 90 percent of all jobs in our economy. Then they tout some small-time government program that provides a few billion dollars to help fund 10,000 small businesses. Without any government help, 650,000 small businesses are typically started every year. Unfortunately, that won’t continue if the new taxes and regulations being promoted by this government are implemented.

All of this reminds of how Hugo Chavez runs the Venezuelan economy. He orders companies to do things that make no economic sense. If they refuse, he nationalizes them under the banner of helping workers. The economic result in Venezuela is more and more poverty because there is no private capital or entrepreneurs doing anything. The policies of Chavez have created food and energy shortages and vast suffering for his people, all under the banner of creating a worker’s paradise. Even as China, India, Brazil, Russia and old European countries such as France, Germany, Spain, England and even Greece move towards less socialism and more capitalism, the far-left wing running America right now wants to follow the path of Hugo Chavez.

Why would they want to do this even though this path has never led to anything but economic misery whenever it has been tried throughout history? The answer is simple. It helps the far-left-wing believers to increase their political power. The more private capital is destroyed, the fewer private-sector jobs there are for people, the more people become desperate just to survive economically. All of this gives more power to those who promote the government, especially the federal government, as the only solution to our economic problems. Their socialist policies create the poverty and misery, and then they ride to the rescue with another solution that involves even more government. It is a vicious cycle that keeps getting worse until our entire economy ultimately will collapse under the weight of a bloated, unproductive government sector and a shriveled private sector. Just take a look at what is happening in Greece right now.

Of course, in a rich and productive country like ours, that process of collapse could take decades. By that point, all of these current left-wing political leaders and their bureaucratic minions will be very old or dead and won’t have to deal with the horrifying consequences of their actions. They will have lived lives of privilege and power at the top of their socialist pyramid scheme on the backs of hard-working, productive Americans. Think of them as the pigs from George Orwell’s classic story “Animal Farm.” Our children will be the ones to suffer the most. Their standard of living will be dramatically lower than ours. The socialists will have bled this country dry by the time our children grow up and try to raise their own families.

How can this bleak future be prevented? It’s very simple. Any time you hear a politician talking about how the government can do this or that to help improve your life, do not vote for that person. Any politician who claims that increasing the role of government in your life will improve your standard of living does not deserve your vote. This is not to say you should always vote for one party or the other. There is a very clear litmus test that can be applied to individual candidates regardless of party affiliation. Does this person believe in reducing the size and scope of government or not? If you always vote for the candidates favoring smaller government, you can at least know that you’ve done your part to help prevent this future socialist nightmare from happening.

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