If you ever need proof that education does not equal wisdom look no farther than the Department of the Treasury, the Congress, and the President of the United States. Educated at the finest colleges in America, some of these people trace their government service decades into the past. Reared in privilege, surrounded by brilliant and accomplished families, and with access to all the knowledge in America, the leaders in all three areas have failed to manage the government’s household and its bank account in a responsible manner. If the National Treasury were a blind trust, those managers would be charged with crimes by the trust owners. That’s us… and we should think about that.
When it comes to big government and low taxes, David M. Walker, former comptroller general of the United States said, “That historical trend has left us with a big government that is constantly at war with a philosophy of personal responsibility and individual liberty that demands a limited government. We have created big-government programs, but we try to finance them with small-government taxes. That spells deficits and debt, and if we don’t reconcile these conflicting views of government, it will spell insolvency for the government and a worse life for many Americans. We have to balance our ideas about what government can do with our recognition of what it should do and what we are willing to pay for.”
America borrows about 40 cents of every dollar that it spends. The American government has a spending problem. There are two kinds of spending: Mandatory and Discretionary. Within the Mandatory category, 71% of government spending is for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Each was established for the noble purpose of reducing the misery of people. Within the Discretionary category, the Defense Department accounts for 51% of the spending. It makes the world a safer place to live for us, our allies, and even our enemies by ensuring the safety of the global trading routes. Another 46% of the Discretionary spending goes for domestic programs like infrastructure.
The American Pie is only so big and it is not big enough for all the Mandatory and Discretionary spending our leaders want. Is our solution to make a bigger pie (raise taxes) or to change the size of each piece (i.e., cut Discretionary and increase Mandatory spending) or to simply make smaller pies with the crust and filling that we already have (cut spending)? These are choices that we voters face. The worst of all possibilities, David M. Walker tells us, is ‘big-government programs and small-government taxes’.
Reasonable citizens everywhere can see that we must begin making smaller pies immediately, change the size of the pieces to ensure our priorities are balanced, and then consider how we will find more crust and filling to make a bigger American Pie in the future. Yet the two political parties will never agree on anything.
If America is to have a pie at all in the future, think differently and vote independently this year. The two parties that got us into this mess will not be the ones to get us out.
If big government and low taxes are at war with personal responsibility and individual liberty then I say we should begin a return to individual freedom, personal responsibility, and personal choice. Let our efforts be about right-sizing America and not capsizing it.