Robert Ringer is a New York Times No. 1 best-selling author and host of the highly acclaimed "Liberty Education Interview Series," which features interviews with top political, economic and social leaders. His latest book is "The Entrepreneur." To sign up for a free subscription to his pro-liberty, pro-free-market e-letter, A Voice of Sanity, CLICK HERE.More ↓Less ↑
After interviewing Sen. Tom Coburn last week about his new book, “The Debt Bomb,” I’m convinced he’s one of a handful of people in Congress who not only understands what is happening to the American Empire, but is willing to stick his neck out to try to do something about it. What makes Coburn different from most of his colleagues is that he is voluntarily limiting his time in the Senate to two terms, just as he did when he was a member of the House.
It’s not surprising, then, that he believes “careerism” is at the root of virtually all of Washington’s problems. He generously ascribes good intentions to many members of Congress, but says they are torn between getting re-elected and doing what’s best for America.
Or, in simple terms, the average politician says to himself, “If I tell the voters the truth, they won’t like me and won’t vote for me.” With this kind of warped mindset, it’s not surprising that careerism wins out just about every time – meaning that the decision to enhance one’s career almost always carries the day. The decisions needed to save the country are thereby postponed indefinitely.
From whence comes the worn-out phrase “kick the can down the road.” It would be more appropriate to say “kick the kids in the can who are coming down the road.” Of course, if the debt bomb explodes, as the far left wants it to, the only ones who will be doing any kicking are those who hold the reins of power.
But it’s worse than that. While those with good intentions are postponing the making of tough decisions, those with bad intentions – progressives, Marxists, socialists, etc. – are well aware of this weakness in their opponents and do not hesitate to exploit it by continuing to move ahead full steam with their collectivist, economy-killing policies.
We should never forget that those on the far left are relentless, and at the heart of their relentlessness is a strategy of combining incredulity with new, ever-increasing baselines. For example, in talking about the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision on Obamacare, Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy recently said, in an incredulous tone, “If the court strikes down the Affordable Care Act, what’s next – Social Security?”
Isn’t gradualism great? In other words, a little safety-net program that was meant to give a helping hand to a small number of the most downtrodden Americans back in 1935 has become an accepted entitlement for all Americans and thus considered to be untouchable.
But isn’t Medicare Part A going to run out of money in the next two years? Sure, but to the far left, that’s nothing more than a minor inconvenience. Bankruptcy is no big deal, right? There’s simply no way that a careerism Congress is going to do anything to fix the problem, because it would spell political death for so many of its members.
What we really need in Washington is an army of super-sized Scott Walkers – but wielding meat axes instead of scalpels. Walker is a modern-day American hero, but it will take far more aggressive action than just making small cuts in public-union employee benefits and collective-bargaining rights to make America solvent again.
When I talk about wielding meat axes, I’m thinking of an illegal monstrosity such as Obamacare. The whole idea of Obamacare is to force people to buy health insurance, which simultaneously forces them to be involved in interstate commerce and thus come under the heavy hand of the federal government. Those on the far left are not just relentless; they are also very clever.
If Obamacare is upheld by the Supreme Court, it will be the most massive expansion of the Commerce Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3, of the Constitution) in U.S. history. In fact, it would render the whole idea of state sovereignty useless, because the government would have the authority to call virtually anything interstate commerce and thereby regulate it however it sees fit.
If Democrats insist that every proposed spending cut is “draconian,” it must mean that millions of people were homeless and starving in 2001 when the federal budget was a mere $1.86 trillion under Bill Clinton. After all, the federal budget today has doubled since 2001 – to $3.86 trillion – so why didn’t we see people dying in the streets of America just 10 years ago?
The whole thing, of course, is progressive nonsense. What has happened since 2001 is that millions of people are now living better than middle-class folks live in most other countries as a result of wealth-redistribution policies implemented by statists in both parties.
Sen. Coburn put it well when he said that we’ve transitioned our country from the idea of “earned success” to “learned dependency.” This is what an arrogant Marxist has in mind when he makes a statement like, “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”
Really? Where in the Constitution does it give anyone the right to spread wealth around? Or is it just a matter of “social justice”? If the latter, who has the moral authority to decide what constitutes social justice? I can tell you this: Politicians would be at the bottom of my list of those morally qualified to do so.
Getting to the bottom line, Sen. Coburn warned that the balance of power we need to worry about is not between the three branches of government. It’s between the people and the government. Most Americans are not taking this issue seriously, but nothing is going to change until, and unless, we, the people, re-establish our supremacy over our elected officials and their partners in crime – unelected bureaucrats.
Reminder to all sleepwalking Americans: They are supposed to be working for us.