Ronald Reagan was right when he said: "Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."
The next stage of out-of-control government spending started when George W. Bush bailed out Wall Street with $700 billion (new debt No. 1). But Congress didn't learn from that failure, and apparently, neither did Barack Obama. So the newly elected president pushed for the next stimulus bill (debt No. 2), this one for $787 billion.
But that wasn't enough, either, so the recent $410 billion omnibus spending bill (with 9,000 earmarks -- 60 percent originating with Democrats and 40 percent with Republicans) is being railroaded through Congress to keep government moving until September (debt No. 3).
And then Obama informed us last week that another $634 billion is required for a down payment on universal health care. Before there's a plan, there's already a payment (debt No. 4).
If that isn't enough, Obama is asking for a roughly $3.6 trillion budget for 2010 despite the fact that the White House projects a 2009 budget shortfall of $1.5 trillion -- triple the $455 billion in 2008. (That's debt No. 5.)
And all of that doesn't include other stimuli on the horizon, as Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, noted when he called the mammoth $787 billion spending bill "stimulus No. 1." (That's debt No. 6, debt No. 7, debt No. 8, etc.)
All of these wild expenditures would be a little more bearable if we saw any signs of economic recovery. But how has all this alleged stimulus stabilized and grown the economy and the market? As our government has bailed out, the Dow Jones industrial average has dropped. It's dropped about 2,000 points since Obama took office, roughly 200 points after every major speech he has made.
So the big question is: How has Obama gotten away with racking up more expenses in his first 30 days in office than all the presidents combined since the founding of our republic did in theirs?
Bernard Goldberg's "A Slobbering Love Affair" is a great book about the media's blind bias and infatuation with Obama, but Obama's hypnotic effects permeate every stratum of society, from political corridors to public schools. Why? Because he's young, hip, cool, liberal and charismatic -- and that's what sells today in America. Objectiveness and criticism fly right out the window with the mere mention of his name or any discussion of his excessive spending plans.
On "Good Morning America" last Thursday, two of ABC's financial experts graded Obama's excessive borrowing and fiscal performance a B, while guest financial expert Dave Ramsey rated it an F. Despite the two B grades, one of ABC's financial experts quipped that one of the biggest problems with Obama's bailouts is that there is no real form of government accountability over the money pouring out of Washington. Yet she maintained her B grade for Obama's stewardship plan. Why?
Here's an even better example: As Obama addressed Congress last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led the way in spontaneous emotive applause for her political hero. Pop-up Pelosi was bouncing up and down like Tigger on steroids, forcing Vice President Joe Biden to rise slowly every time she jumped up, and Biden had to try to hide his frustration with her. Pelosi's eyes and facial expressions seemed almost giddy as she gazed at Obama like a teenager infatuated with the popular high-school jock.
As I watched this obsessive congressional circus, I asked myself, "Is this the type of objective bipartisan leadership we want running our government, leading our nation, and spending our money?"
The political and financial math is easy to calculate. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out -- just an honest assessment of Washington's present landscape. Here's how the equation pans out:
America's political love affair with President Obama plus the Democratic majority's coercions in Congress equals trillions of dollars in new debt for Americans, or more economic chaos.
If we ever are to restore the fiscal and leadership sanity to our economy and government, we need not to reinvent the Great Depression wheel of Roosevelt's New Deal. We need to look to a time when Congress was more frugal in its spending and stabilized our government and economy. And in the past 100 years, one of the best examples of that occurred when Newt Gingrich led Congress in the 1990s. I'm not justifying every financial move they made back then, but despite losing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution by only one Senate vote, they still committed to spending caps and balancing the budget, which they did for four consecutive years. That was the first time that had happened since the 1920s.
The Congress of the '90s steadied and strengthened the economy by following four priorities and principles, which are being turned on their heads at this moment by the present administration. As Newt noted in his excellent book "Real Change," Congress' top priorities were to:
--Cut taxes to increase economic growth and therefore increase revenues (unlike Obama's tax hikes, which will retard economic growth and depress revenues).
--Set priorities and increase spending in key areas while reducing it in nonessential areas (unlike Obama's fiscal priorities of health care, energy and education, which are based not upon what is best for the economy but what is reflective of typical partisan preferences and doing what is politically expedient).
--Eliminate pork-barrel spending (unlike the 9,000 earmarks in the present $410 billion omnibus spending bill, which is nothing short of absolute economic ludicrousness, mismanagement and waste within our present crisis).
--Shift from expensive, wasteful systems to smarter spending; look at not only more inexpensive ways but also more productive ones (unlike Obama's theory to spend our way to prosperity, which is a sure way to sink America).
Our government is hemorrhaging money. The nanny state is becoming the norm. Our Founders are rolling in their graves. And at this very moment, Washington's credit-crazy and debt-accumulating addiction is dissolving our sovereignty like a sugar cube in coffee by handing our financial autonomy over to other nations. In other words, Rome is burning, and Caesar is stoking the fire!
Time is running out, but it's not too late to reverse Washington's fiscal frenzy. Don't just write to your representatives; hound them to live and legislate by the preceding four proven priorities and principles of governmental and monetary prudence.