Worse yet, many of us seem to lose all sense of reality when it comes to the economic promises of politicians. Most American adults seem to understand that a drunken person cannot drink themselves to sobriety, and that no individual or household can spend their way out of debt. Yet when politicians promise to “help” us by spending more of our money, many of us seem to believe it.
Yet the existing federal government debt, on a per-capita basis, translates to approximately $54,000 per individual citizen, and about $200,000 per household. Simply saying “I don’t understand economics very well” is unacceptable. Americans must grow up and realize that a stable society needs prosperous private enterprise, and government that operates within its means.
And here’s a really tough one that our overwhelmingly religious nation needs to understand: economic systems are neither morally relative, nor are they morally neutral. Big government, little government, high and low taxes – these distinctions are not morally inconsequential. The President and the Congress can be blamed for running up debt, but they are an expression of the American electorate’s desires. If there was sufficient political pressure for fiscal responsibility in Washington, then there would be a sufficient number of elected congressional members who would require it, and the President would get on board with it too.
Likewise, it is not morally inconsequential to support a “make somebody else pay” public policy. Indeed, this is morally reprehensible. Amid an environment where nearly 50% of all households are receiving one or more types of government benefit checks, Americans mostly support the President’s “soak the rich” fiscal policy. Yet many of us are indignant at the thought of paying more taxes ourselves (and many more are outraged that, despite the President’s promises to the contrary, all of us who work are having more taxes taken out of our paychecks this year).
In my native homeland of California, the “make somebody else pay” philosophy could not be more obvious. Last November, voters there rejected a modest state sales tax increase that was on the ballot (a tax that would have impacted all consumers), yet overwhelmingly supported an income tax hike on – you guessed it, “rich people.” “Don’t stop my government services,” a majority of California voters seemed to say, “but make somebody else pay for it.”
Debt, out of control spending, and making somebody else pay – they all amount to a lethal combination. Will Americans grow up in sufficient time to choose more wisely?
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.