Saturday, December 29, 2012


By James Craig Green

America is addicted to Government - and it's debt - like a junkie to heroin.

Bankers create unlimited new money for loans to "stimulate" the economy. Deceptively-labeled "anti-drug" laws finance an out-of-control gang and illegal drug culture, like Prohibition financed Al Capone. Americans today worship the false gods of prosperity without effort, endless “free” benefits at the expense of everyone else and the upside-down idea that you are responsible for everyone else, but not yourself. More and more, once-productive businesses have become wards of the State, hoping to exploit bailouts while foisting their losses off on the public.

A 2008 article in the Denver Post titled Big Government Benefits the West, clearly showed what is wrong with America today. Attempting - but failing - to make the case that the West gets many benefits from Washington, the authors completely ignored the fact that these benefits are funded mostly by escalating and unsustainable public debt - the most dangerous narcotic in America's history. Furthermore, since 1995, my state (Colorado) has paid more to the federal government than it has received. This is a net loss, not a gain. I continue to be astounded by the sloppy thinking and lack of honest accounting when it comes to promoting government benefits to the public, which magically seem to be "free." As you can see in the Wikipedia article below (scroll to table) in 2007, Colorado - A Net Loser - paid $45.4 billion in federal taxes, while collecting only $34.8 billion in federal spending.


The American Republic was created from the 1787 U.S. Constitution, as modified in 1791 by an elegant Bill of Rights. It strove to protect individuals from the democratic tyranny of the mob, but tragically during the twentieth century succumbed to the most politically successful idea of all time – the seductive scourge of the “public interest.” Since its founding, the federal government of the United States has continually usurped and expanded the limited powers granted to it by the Constitution. From the Civil War, to the New Deal, to today’s unprecedented monetary inflation and military adventurism, the narcotic of easy government money has corrupted business and American society with a seemingly endless free lunch mentality.

America's military spends more than the next 13 countries combined. By what insane logic is this called "defense?"


America is addicted to government, growing out of control. Government spending, like any narcotic, feels good at first, but the pain of withdrawal doesn't come until later, as during the 2008-2009 financial collapse, from which our economy has yet to recover. Although many people think those evil free markets are the culprits, government has massively escalated both control of and subsidies to private business interests for more than a century. Every war, skirmish, depression and recession in living memory has been an excuse for government to grow, without admitting its enabling (and destructive) role. Big government is big "business," but not the entrepreneurial kind sustained by markets. No, this kind of "business" supports a bloated (mostly non-defensive) military-industrial complex about which President - formerly General - Eisenhower warned us, along with other corporate welfare and fantasy-based entitlement programs. Some popular pundits, including our economically - and reality - challenged President, call this the "private sector." What part of "tax, control, subsidize and confiscate" do they not understand?

By subsidizing and controlling industries while promising Americans prosperity with little or no effort, the U.S. Government was already worse than broke before the recent meltdown - and the current President. The recent housing crisis was largely caused by the expansion of credit by the Federal Reserve, the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act and Congress' aggressive arm-twisting of bankers to loan money to people who couldn't pay it back. Government-created companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac contributed to the illusion that "easy" credit was somehow sustainable. This was powerfully documented - and refuted - in Thomas Sowell's 2009 bestseller, "The Housing Boom and Bust."



It is ironic that those most concerned with the sustainability of the planet ignore or eschew the sustainability of the private economy that provides the wealth that supports us all, including ALL government jobs and programs. In short, without a competitive, robust private sector based on market-driven economics, government could not exist. Similarly, those who publicly claim to support free markets are too often interested in government contracts, subsidies and protection from competition, rather than market risk and true sustainability. The real strength of markets, beside their innovation, adaptability and productivity, is their ruthless, indiscriminate risk of failure. When government provides banks, insurance, mortgage, auto and other companies with (combined) trillion dollar bailouts, free markets should be the last thing to blame. Unfortunately, the media - among the worst junkies of all - rarely make this link. To anyone with half a brain, this shouldn't be surprising.

Instead of being worshipped like rock stars and courted for freebies, politicians should be constrained, mistrusted and carefully watched by everyone, because their job is to spend other people's money taken by force. This LEGAL kind of crime is far more destructive than other "criminal" elements, who seem like amateurs by comparison to this political class. They should be held to a much higher standard than any private citizen, because No One (with rare exceptions) can be trusted with political power. Throughout history, such power, in each and every form and government, has been continually expanded and abused by almost everyone who held it. I had hoped that America was better than that, but the exponential growth of government during our lifetimes is nothing less than depressing. The junkies are in charge of the rehab center. For these reasons, an important reform would be to limit members of Congress to one term at a time - in other words, no re-election of ANY member - ever, without sitting out at least one term before running again. Career politicians are the problem; not the solution. Of course, this would take a constitutional amendment - which means most Americans would have to want it. Perhaps the next Depression will provide ample incentives...

Despite constitutional checks and balances including the Bill of Rights, the federal government has broken the chains that used to bind it repeatedly since its founding. Long ago, businessmen learned they could make more money - with less risk - by creating government-supported businesses than suffering the risk of loss in the marketplace. Government-business partnerships bring out the worst in both public and private sectors - demanding more public spending while reducing the productive incentive of businesses with government contracts.

The U.S. Constitution - even after 27 amendments - STILL describes a government limited to a few tasks, with none of the massive government interventions taking place today. The "general welfare" clause - the subject of many Supreme Court cases - has morphed into the specific welfare of well-connected groups (like banks, unions and auto companies) and away from the American Republic's founding principles limited only to policies that benefit all. Only by reducing the size and influence of the consuming public (government) sector and freeing up the productive (private) sector without subsidy, while emphasizing freedom and private property rights protection, can American government begin to find its rightful place again.

I'm not going to hold my breath...

Make government what it ought to be, and it will support itself –Thomas Paine


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