As I reflect on the proud history of our great country, I can’t help but also mourn that we have and continue to progressively reject the traditional American economic principles, freedoms, and values, and the vision of American exceptionalism that have made these great United States the global economic engine and the global shining light of freedom for the last century. The dual forces of progressive ideology and the corrupt (corrupting) political process have severely eroded our liberty and strength that arose from the protection of our God-given unalienable rights granted us in the founding principles of our Constitution.
Progressive ideology and its wealth redistribution policies threaten the American foundational concept of property rights. Protection of the fruits of an individual’s physical and intellectual labor has been the cornerstone of our country’s unmatched economic growth over the last 2 centuries. Imprudently, and to our country’s economic and societal detriment, our country is moving in the polar opposite direction of protecting property rights with the growing welfare state that encourages dependency and unearned entitlement, and discourages self-responsibility and initiative. Further, the welfare state can only incompletely fund these entitlements even with increasingly confiscatory tax rates on the present and future taxpayers.
This same “enlightened” progressive thought relativizes morality in the name of broad tolerance and “evolutionary” ethics, and rejects traditional American values of self-reliance and self-responsibility, individual charity and looking out for one’s neighbors, living within one’s means, honesty, fidelity, patriotism, and traditional family. “Politically correct” relative morality threatens to completely unravel the fabric of traditional American society’s values system, which is inherent and necessary in a government founded in God-given unalienable rights. Without a strong moral code, liberty – economic, political, and social – falls into licentiousness and injustice.
No less damaging to our liberty has been the corrupted political system that serves self and special interests rather than the citizens it allegedly represents. As a result of the nearly irresistible allure to remain in political office and to enjoy the assured level of comfort, power and privilege, our political establishment has proven to be incompatible with the ability to truly problem solve and address the daunting problems facing our nation. Simple cursory review of the pending financial “reform” bill reveals that it does not address the excesses of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that lead to the mortgage breakdown or truly address the “too big to fail” policies that encourage injudicious risk-taking by large financial institutions. Similarly, health-care “reform” failed to tackle the prime issue in health-care – the uncontrolled cost escalation that threatens the financial viability of individuals, families, businesses, and state and Federal government. Instead, the passed bill increased costs and the national debt continues to rise.
National debt at $14 trillion now equals our GDP and yet that number pales to the true debt including unfunded liabilities, e.g. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, state deficits, which add up to nearly 10 times that number. Deficit entitlement spending has turned upside-down the hallowed American tradition of parents and grandparents sacrificing to give their children a better future. Not only are we failing to save and invest in their future, we instead are taking money from their future for our present consumption. This ever increasing deficit spending and the widening discrepancy between GDP growth and debt growth can only end in economic calamity.
The economy continues to struggle with persistent and high unemployment. Long term joblessness (>26 weeks) has never been recorded higher than the current 46% of the unemployed. The number of individuals dependent on government continues to grow – Heritage Foundation recently assessed that number at 60 million – threatening the very essence of our republican system of government. In 2009, 47% of Federal tax filers paid no income tax and nearly 40% actually received a payment in the form of a tax credit. As taxpayers, we understand as unemployment persists or grows and citizenry dependence on government grows, we and future taxpayers will personally assume increasing excessive (confiscatory) tax liability. Yet we must also recognize the terrible injustice of past and ongoing faulty and misguided government policies that hurt the economy, increase unemployment, and encourage this dependence on government. These terrible policies, in the end, take away the individual’s right and bestowed human dignity to support one’s self and family and to make one’s own life’s decisions.
American exceptionalism that grew out of a Republic founded on the protection of unalienable human rights has been steadily replaced by the progressive mantra of equality of goodness of all the world’s political and social systems and the call to create an equal and just world society based on ever evolving enlightened human-conceived “rights”. The rejection of the vision of American exceptionalism and the impending fiscal and economic crisis threaten our country’s economic and national security, and ultimately our very national sovereignty and identity. We must fight to restore our great country and our place as “the city on the hill” in this world by once again embracing the vision of American exceptionalism and the traditional American economic principles, individual freedoms and responsibilities, and values that made our great land the global economic engine and bastion of freedom – principles, freedoms, responsibilities, and values inherent in and nurtured by a system of government based on the safeguarding our God-given unalienable individual rights.