Many politicians envision themselves in an exalted roll and then act accordingly. Some imagine themselves as a benevolent father figure, others as a populist folk hero, but the most nausea-inducing usually see themselves as the savior of mankind. It has become very clear, particularly since she became Speaker of the House, that Nancy Pelosi sees herself as Mother Teresa, obligated by divine decree to take care of every American. The huge expansion of government during her Speakership revealed her self-ordained purpose in life, and, now that she is in the minority, she insists on protecting those Americans that she has taken under her wing.
Last week Ms. Pelosi defended her flock in her inimitable style – throwing out alarming numbers that she pulled from her tookus. In a news conference on April 4, she claimed that the federal government pays for meal deliveries to 6 million seniors. She then asked if the middle ground in the budget discussion was delivery to 3 million seniors, ruefully adding “I don’t think so.” She may not have thought so because – again in her inimitable style – the numbers are utterly bogus. The Washington Post fact-checked the number and found that it is actually 2.6 million. But the question that should honestly be asked is whether these seniors really need Mother Pelosi to spend our money to hire government workers to feed our seniors?
After listening to Mother Pelosi’s statement several times I began to wonder: What brought us to this point? How many seniors who are receiving these meals have no other means of getting them? How many of these people are truly destitute? Don’t any of them have local family members? Are there no local charities that sponsor a Meals on Wheels program? How much is this program really needed?
Politicians today don’t ask these questions because harridans like Mother Pelosi start screaming about starving seniors, starving children, starving whatever. This has been the pattern for at least fifty years, but now we’ve hit the proverbial wall and we must finally start evaluating exactly how much government can or should be doing. The recession has laid bare the immense cost of government, and Americans finally understand that they can neither ask nor allow their governments to do everything.
We have reached America’s critical moment. We must determine whether we want to become like Europeans – who have surrendered life decisions to government workers – or whether we want to maintain our individuality. Government now costs about 37% of our gross domestic product (GDP), including the 5% growth in federal spending under the Obama-Pelosi regime. This level of massive spending has driven the federal government, as well as many state and municipal governments, to a point of undeclared bankruptcy. Republicans want to bring it back to 32% (or less), and restore a policy of balanced budgets, fiscal sanity, and inter-generational sustainability.
To Democrats, Europe is the guiding light. The 14 countries of Western European have, on the average, a governmental burden of 50.7% of GDP. These are preposterous, unsustainable numbers. Someone has to create the wealth that funds the government. While taxation of public employees is, in truth, just a reduction in their cost, every government needs a critical mass of private-sector enterprise and employment in order to function. When over half of everything you produce – and half of everything you earn – is confiscated, there will never be sufficient incentive to produce a vibrant, growing private sector, and, over a prolonged period, the entire societal and fiscal structure will collapse.
That is why there have been riots across Europe. Government leaders have finally realized that their national treasuries are buckling under the weight of too many promises and not enough ability to perform nor incentive to produce. Unfortunately, the people – deluded by the false siren of cradle-to-grave socialism – perceive a world in which the State alleges to take care of all their needs, wants and desires.
The Democrats’ only solution is to raise taxes on the “rich.” Even if they confiscated every dollar earned by the “rich,” we wouldn’t come close to balancing our budget. But you can be sure of one thing: if tax rates become outrageously high – and we should be clear that even now, combined tax rates for high earners are over 50% – these people will either take their ball and go home, or relocate elsewhere in this ever-shrinking world.
Americans have vital decisions to make. Do we want the government to shovel our snow or can we do it ourselves? Do we want to feed our elderly parents and grandparents or are we going to shuffle that responsibility off to some nameless, faceless bureaucrat? Do we want to save for our own retirement or are we going to be entirely dependent on government bureaucrats to collect our money and hope that it’s there when we stop working?
Mother Pelosi and her comrades think they should have all the money and dole it out as they see fit. They have a savior complex funded by OPM (other people’s money). But we ordinary Americans now understand that there is no honey pot at the end of the rainbow, and it is up to us to decide whether we are going to allow Mother Pelosi to continue this dangerous charade.