At the heart of the financial meltdown now bedeviling Americans is a simple and profoundly ignored fact that does not require an advanced degree in economics to understand: Our government spends more than it takes in—a lot more.
Sure, regulators could have done a better job but, in truth, politicians at every level have frustrated attempts to blow the whistle on bad loans, bad reporting and bad ethics. Why? Because politicians have been buying our votes with our money—and our future earnings—for a long time. And they don't want any interference from those they are "helping."
It's not just the naked bribes represented by "earmarks" for hometown voters; it is new entitlement programs like the prescription drug benefit, new rules governing the behavior of favored banks and investment houses and a headlong rush to buy the votes of the poor by guaranteeing home ownership, irrespective of one's financial ability to repay a loan. Lest we forget, let's also add up all the special tax breaks for favored contributors that have bloated income tax code rules to 67,500 pages. It's a bi-partisan betrayal of our future cloaked as concern for the common good.
Although our nation was founded on the principle that the citizen was sovereign, government spending increases and more and more taxes taken from our earnings, savings and investments have effectively transformed the American citizen into a serf working another's land for the privilege of taking a fraction of the fruits of his or her own labor.
Just Trust Us
"Trust us," we are told. "We have the best interests of the nation at heart." Citizens are now left with no rational choice to protect savings, college plans, and investments but to accept the new aristocracies' trillion dollar picking of our pockets to prop up institutions that must function. It is not the first time in recent years that we have accepted the grasping hand of the federal government in our wallets to avert a disaster not of our making.
In 1983 a "Blue Ribbon" panel of similar leaders including Alan Greenspan, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and others "saved" Social Security from another big collapse by dramatically raising taxes on earnings of up to $97,500 annually. The promise, then, was that Baby Boomers would actually "pre-fund" their own retirement with astoundingly increased taxes, decades ahead of time. It was also promised as relief to the coming generations so they would be free of crippling taxes. Sounded good.