As we roll right up to election eve, the polls all indicate there are still enough eligible, independent voters to turn the elections to the right or left … who haven’t made up their minds!
I know there are a number of confusing, complex issues voters have to consider. The massive avalanche of TV, radio and Internet ads all add to the confusion; almost every candidate and his or her team feel they have to trash their opponents, painting them as thieves, boobs, incompetents or latter-day versions of Attila the Hun. In too many recent years, millions of voters have thrown up their hands, and said, in effect, “I don’t like any of these candidates, I can’t decide who’s telling the truth, and I’m just staying home Election Day.” And that’s what they’ve done.
But, as millions of us are deeply aware now, this is going to be one of the most important – and future-deciding – elections in our history. At stake is the very structure and freedom of the republic our founders gave us. The current administration, led by the most far-left liberals ever in power, is determined, as President-elect Obama promised, to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” In less than two years, they’ve demonstrated what that will be like, and they have gathered to themselves unconstitutional powers that will enable them to convert America into a socialist, second-rate nation that could easily meld into a one-world government and economy.
Agonizing over how to get the independents and undecided voters to the polls, I think I’ve found them an indisputable reason. In our little Beverly Hills Courier newspaper, some information jumped off the page at me. And I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t front-page news, at least in California, if not the whole nation.
It was a report, just days ago, about a State of the State Conference at the Beverly Hilton, an event that convened policymakers and government leaders from all over our state. The article detailed the findings of the Milken Institute, an independent think tank, about the financial condition of California, especially regarding public pension reform.
Could anything sound so dull? Yet something drew me in, partly because I’ve known Michael Milken for years and have known of his financial genius and, increasingly, his desire to serve the nation and use his millions to find solutions to physical, social and governmental problems. And what his Institute reported was shocking … and relevant to every voter in every state in the Union. It’s about California, but what’s happening here is happening to our whole country.
The Milken Institute predicts that within the next two years, state pensions will be paying out more than five times the state’s revenue. I stopped and reread that, and reread it again. How is that possible?
It went on. Pension liabilities, already committed, will triple to $10,000 per Californian by 2014, up from $3,000 in 2009! How many Californians realize they must contribute to those payoffs at that rate? Five times every cent the state can raise! Just to pay pension obligations!
Milken projects the number of seniors will triple to 11.6 million during the first half of this century. The Institute calls the situation “a perfect storm,” alluding to the need for more state services for an aging populace (a workforce who will spend more years in retirement than they did contributing to funds) and a shrinking ratio of working-age taxpayers to pay for them.
Say it out loud: “Five times more than the state’s revenue.” Say it several times. Then realize that “as California goes, so goes the nation.” That old adage hasn’t always been accurate, but in this case, it is. In spades.
Think about the $2 trillion added to our national debt during the Bush administration – and then the $3 trillion added just in the first two years of the Obama one. Then the $10 trillion more projected to accrue to our debt due to national health care and other fantastic commitments this administration is including in its agenda. Do you want to live in a United States that owes five times more, even 10 times, than it can produce with all its output, commerce and taxes? With the impossible debt growing every year?
Friend, if this doesn’t get you to the polls on Election Day – then you’ll deserve whatever happens as a consequence. You and your children, and their children and grandchildren, will struggle under such unimaginable debt that the country will not only be bankrupt, it will likely become the chattel of the more rational and profitable nations who will have claimed all our assets as part payment on our debt, which they hold.
It’s directly up to you and me – if we vote. That’s what our founders intended – that “We the People” would control the reins and call the shots. We can elect men and women who share our respect for the Constitution and our common sense about not spending more than we can afford – no matter what. Because of the mess we’re already in, we’ve got to seek out and elect representatives who will make tough choices – like raising the retirement age, increasing employee contributions and lessening the guarantees, lopping billions and billions out of government spending, dissolving long-obsolete and unnecessary agencies, and immediately stopping billions in foreign aid to countries that vote against us on every issue. These are absolute essentials, if we’re going to survive.
There are candidates on every level who are committed to drastically cutting spending, eradicating all pork (earmarks), balancing the budget and retaining tax cuts that will allow small businesses to start hiring and producing again.
We’ve got to identify these candidates … and elect them.
As you make plans to head to the polls, keep repeating: “Five times the revenue. Five times the revenue. This has to stop!”