Fiscal Crisis at a Tipping Point
Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by the American Spectator. Click here to read it.
The outcry over deficit spending and the rapidly escalating national debt is reaching ear-piercing levels. Everyone but President Obama and the Democratic leadership seems to understand the fiscal crisis facing the nation. We hear dire warnings about the economy from every corner of the nation — economists, Wall Street, fiscal analysts, legislators, civic leaders, investment brokers, and financial commentators in the media. No wonder, a quick look at various aspects of the economy reveals a dark forecast.
Our debt now stands at more than $10 trillion. The situation was described dramatically by Yuval Levin in a Time magazine article. He wrote, “Our debt has doubled in the past five years and will double again by decade's end. By the early 2030s, experts explain, it will be roughly twice the size of our entire economy (far larger than the largest national debt in our history, right after World War II) and still growing out of control, gravely threatening future growth and prosperity.”
The housing industry continues to tank, foreclosures are up, more homeowners are “underwater” and prices are falling. Unemployment is at 9.1 percent and the misery index is the highest it has been in 28 years. According to a CNN poll, almost half of Americans think another Great Depression is likely to occur with the next year.
Negative whispers questioning the viability of the American economy have turned into wails of despair and the public’s approval of the President’s handling of the economy continues to drop — the latest Gallup Poll reveals that only 20 percent of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going and unemployment is at 9.2 percent.
In short, the current national fiscal crisis is devastating to the future of America.
The only way out of this fiscal crisis is to go back to those historically-proven, time-honored principles that are the foundation of this great nation; to reestablish those ideals on which the most prosperous nation in history has flourished — individual freedom and responsibility, competition, opportunity, determination in the face of adversity, and a can-do attitude that leads to setting and reaching goals through hard work and personal accomplishment. Guided by these principles and ideals, the nation can come back from the brink of fiscal peril.
A recent Public Notice poll found that a majority of voters want Congress to accept its responsibility to tackle the spending problem that is threatening the nation’s economic stability. Congress simply must get the nation’s “fiscal house in order.”
To that end tax increases would make the problem worse, as would any measure that would weaken the U.S. military, threaten national security or undermine national sovereignty. The “Cut, Cap, and Balance” solution would immediately cut spending and slash the deficit in half next year. It would put in place statutes and enforceable caps that would align spending with average revenues by ratcheting total federal spending down to 18 percent of GDP. Passage in the House and Senate of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution would include the aforementioned spending cap and provide a high hurdle for tax increases.
The nation’s citizens want to see principled, courageous action to reverse the crisis and bring back the kind of financial and economic stability that propelled America into the world’s superpower. That would include curtailing entitlements, reversing government expansion, and repealing ObamaCare (with all the features — marriage penalty, payback to feminists, and taxpayer funding of abortion — that negative affect women and families).
In short, Congress must make the hard choices necessary to stop the reckless pattern of spending to get the nation back on a sound fiscal foundation by balancing the federal budget, maintaining the pro-life protections in our current spending, balancing the budget within five years, and establishing a hard line against any additional spending without a plan for cutting the size of government. Congress must reject any and all tax increases; they will only cripple families, devastate the economy and consolidate more power in government.
The “Cut, Cap, and Balance” initiative is the best way to stop the cycle of endless deficits. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the great German philosopher’s words are very applicable to the challenge we face today. He said, “The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children. At this tipping point in America’s fiscal crisis, we have to ask ourselves, “What kind of world are we bequeathing the nation’s children?”
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