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It's time to yell 'Fire!'

Most everybody, Democrat or Republican, and even Libertarian, agrees it’s criminal to irresponsibly stand up in a crowded theater and yell “fire!” Such an action can cause panic, and a lot of innocent people can be hurt.

But there have been too many incidents, some in recent memory, where fires suddenly broke out in crowded places like dance halls and night clubs, and by the time people were alerted and warned the resulting jam-ups at the only exits did indeed cause tragic and unnecessary loss of life.

Even in the World Trade Center Twin Towers on 9/11, if there had been stern and audible announcements throughout the offices, giving urgent instructions on how to escape, hundreds of lives might have been saved. But the event was so unexpected that too many were virtually paralyzed by uncertainty and bewilderment, not really knowing what to do, till it was too late.

Sadly, almost every week, somewhere in the U.S., a sleeping family is immolated, burned alive while they sleep, unaware that a faulty oven or heater or gas line has burst into flame and set their house on fire. If only somebody, even a passerby, could have seen what was happening and yelled “FIRE!” at the top of his lungs.

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Let me ask: In a situation like this, would it have been more appropriate to contact a congressman and ask him to investigate housing regulations?

If he used his mobile phone to call the fire department, should the one who answered the phone put the passerby on hold while he checked the books to see if the residents of the burning home had paid for fire insurance?

Was it a matter for community meetings … legislative decisions … a massive new bill mandating fire-alarm systems in all dwellings? Or was it time for the passerby to take swift, immediate action, waking the poor family up by yelling “FIRE!”?

Surely the answer is obvious. A loud, insistent and disturbing alarm would certainly have saved the family’s lives. You agree?

Well, fellow American, that’s where we are right now, and that’s what we desperately need: a loud, insistent and disturbing alarm.

Our beloved America is bankrupt; we’re out of gas and running on fumes; we’ve allowed misguided and inept leaders to run up trillions of dollars of unpayable debt – and the current administration wants to add 2 to 3 trillion a year on top of that! In his State of the Union address, and now in his proposed budget for the coming year, our president proposes massive new “investments” in green energy proposals, infrastructure, education and even an $8 billion high-speed train we might well do without. “Investments” with what? Whose money? What money?

Mr. President, you don’t seem to be aware our house is on “FIRE!” We’re burning down to the ground in debt, and you want to keep throwing more logs on! Having Ben Bernanke keep the printing presses churning out pretty green pieces of paper with numbers on ’em and nothing whatsoever to back them up, throwing them on the flames, is not an answer! It’s making things drastically, irretrievably worse!

You’ve proposed “freezing discretionary domestic spending at current levels for five years” – as if that were a good thing! Sir, we know, even if you and those advising you don’t, that those levels are the highest in our history, and that to “freeze” them for five years, just to curry favor with unions and special interests, is to fuel the fires of economic doom.

It’s exactly like the recent incident in which the accelerator in an otherwise excellent car was stuck, “frozen” at top speed, and the driver, unable to bring the car under control, sped to his death.

We ordinary citizens get it. We’ve had enough experience with our family budgets, our businesses and our efforts to prepare for our retirements some day to know you simply can’t reduce debt by increasing it!

This is an emergency, as critical as a raging fire. If swift, decisive, intelligent and even painful action isn’t taken, America will default on its bonds, our currency will be diluted to relative worthlessness, major businesses will collapse, we likely will experience a depression worse than 1929, and our position of leadership in the world will disappear.

Is this what you want?

Phrases like “redistributing the wealth”and “we’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good” (Hillary Clinton’s campaign promise) are not the answer; they’re the surest evidence of socialistic thought. In Wisconsin, during the union-organized teacher walkout, a TV interviewer asked a 16-year-old student who had obviously been thoroughly coached what could be done about the union demands – and the kid answered, “Tax the rich.” Sound familiar?

Oddly, no union teacher had informed him that the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans pay 36 percent of income taxes, and the top 5 percent pay 55 percent of income taxes. That millions of Americans already pay little or no taxes at all. That piling more taxes on the top earners will not only disincentivize them, but will result in even more joblessness – and a sicker, weaker economy.

That well-meaning but terribly misinformed kid is like an innocent baby in the burning house. There’s no time to re-educate him; our only sensible answer is to collectively and emphatically yell “FIRE! The house is burning down! Get out of bed and out into the air! Get the hoses turned on full force, even if a lot of personal items get scorched and lost, even if you wind up in a cheap motel or a friend’s house for a while. Save your very lives, and maybe the house itself. Wake up! Do what has to be done!”

We citizens, through our newly elected representatives, must demand, insist that government bureaucracy be slashed, spending on all nonessential things be halted, taxes be levied on luxury items, Social Security become optional for young workers and accessible later for older ones, that insurance companies be allowed to competitively operate across state lines, to bring down costs – and the budget be balanced every year henceforward.

Drastic situations demand drastic action … sometimes, like now, even yelling “FIRE!”