Fiscal fight could change Beltway culture
By Solomon Yue
The Washington Times
7:58 p.m., Thursday, May 5, 2011
President Obamas accelerated deficit spending has pushed the national debt from $10.8 trillion up to $14.29 trillion in just 27 months. His yearly deficit spending rate of $1.68 trillion is three times greater than President Bushs $613 billion and eight times President Clintons $200 billion. America will be more than $17 trillion in debt by the end of Mr. Obamas first term.
The presidents $787 billion stimulus not only served to take over key U.S. industries, from banking to automobile manufacturing, but also paid off Democratic constituency groups, including private and public unions, as a reward for campaign contributions. Big labor has been one of four pillars of big government along with the mainstream media, elected redistributionists and a coalition of liberal special interests.
The United Auto Workers spent $13.1 million in the 2008 cycle. Of its $2.3 million in direct contributions, 99 percent went to Democrats. It gave $4.5 million to help Mr. Obamas election. Mr. Obama’s GM bailout alone, which significantly benefited the UAW, could cost taxpayers more than $11 billion when the government sells its GM shares.
Mr. Obama spent $26 billion in state aid to save teachers and other public-employee union jobs, in addition to 396,502 newly created teacher union jobs with direct stimulus money. In return, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees spent $87.5 million to help Democrats hold on Congress in 2010. And the National Education Association spent $50 million to help elect Mr. Obama in 2008 and $40 million to help vulnerable Democrats in 2010.
Increasing union membership means more union dues, which in turn means more campaign contributions to Democrats.
Obamacare will control every aspect of daily life, from conception to death, by taking over the entire health care industry. It will add $700 billion to the budget deficit in the first 10 years and cost $2.6 trillion when fully implemented. It robs Medicare to pay for its programs by double-counting Social Security payroll taxes and Medicare reductions.
This deficit spending is legalized plunder. It transfers wealth from producers to takers and burdens unborn children with todays obligations. It has been funded by Mr. Obamas print-and-borrow monetary policy, which has devalued the dollar, causing imports to be more expensive. It is partially behind the skyrocketing of gasoline prices and is shrinking the purchasing power and savings of every citizen. It is looting – and therefore morally repulsive.
In 1850, French economist Frederic Bastiat defined legalized plunder as forcibly taking the property of another through legislation so beneficiaries could live at the expense of others. Since mans nature is to avoid pain – and it is in the nature of some men to avoid labor by resorting to plunder – government should use its collective force to stop this fatal tendency. But Bastiat failed to see that it is man who runs government and it is mans nature to want to expand his power.
Now Mr. Obama wants to raise the federal debt ceiling again to pay for more deficit spending.
A debt-ceiling increase, with unenforceable promises of spending controls, however, is a budgetary gimmick. In just two years, Mr. Obama has already increased the debt ceiling three times by some $3 trillion, further adding to the increases agreed to under Republican presidents.
Few doubt it is immoral for government to spend itself into insolvency. In response, the GOP congressional leadership must focus on real spending reductions.
First, the GOP House majority must reject the latest trial balloon of raising the debt ceiling, coupled with a debt reduction target number, in return for an automatic trigger of spending cuts and tax increases if the targets are not reached. This is just a trap for automatic tax increases. If government could meet its debt reduction targets, we would not have had 14 debt-ceiling increases in 18 years.
Second, the GOP House majority must ask Democrats to prove their sincerity when it comes spending and reducing the national debt by offering a reasonable debt restructuring plan: Every dollar borrowed above the current debt ceiling should require $1.50 in automatic cuts in discretionary spending, returning unspent stimulus money and passing a balanced budget amendment.
Lastly, the GOP majority must force a vote that identifies politicians who are more interested in government expansion at the expense of our liberty. Such a vote would expose Mr. Obamas print-borrow-tax-and-spend policy that is bankrupting this nation not only fiscally, but also morally. The vote should be used to mobilize public demand for fiscal responsibility and to defeat proponents of legalized plunder and replace them with defenders of liberty in 2012.
To change Beltway culture, we must first remove proponents of big government.
Solomon Yue is an Oregon businessman and Republican National Committee member and a co-founder of two conservative caucuses within the RNC.
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