Many of you can remember the daytime game show hosted by Monty Hall of the aforementioned name. Contestants would choose between three doors and one of them held a gimmick for the unfortunate person who picked the wrong door.
If there is one word that has become part of the lexicon of Washington DC it is the word “deal.” Unfortunately, it is always the American people who suffer when inept politicians come together to make deals with our hard-earned resources, and often pick the wrong door. We reside in a Constitutional Republic where we should be governed according to the rule of law. Instead, we are treated to a consistent game show.
Such it is with the latest fiasco over the so-called debt ceiling, which has become a gimmick in and of itself.
How many households in America, or businesses, can operate in the absurd manner in which our federal government does? How many of us can just ask for more debt and cry that without an increase of our debt ceiling we will sadly go into default? It is bad enough that the current administration tells those who are fiscally responsible that they are now responsible for those who are not, being the mortgage fees redistribution scheme. Something that is truly unconstitutional. Then again, the supposed Fiscal Responsibility Act, oxymoronic in name, emphasis on moron, does the exact same thing. The Congress is telling you and me, hard-working American citizens, that we must live by rules of fiscal responsibility, while they do not, while we pay for it.
Our nation, these United States of America, is close to $32 trillion in debt. Our debt to GDP ratio is creeping close to 130 percent, meaning that our debt is outpacing our economic production, gross domestic product. The net interest on the debt is hitting $1 trillion, far more than what we appropriate to our national security and defense. Every American taxpayer would have to write a check for over $200,000 to eradicate the debt. Every American citizen is on the hook for $90, 000 and we are also on the hook for free cell phones and other assistance to those here illegally.
Politically speaking, the Democrats who held the White House, House, and Senate just last year could have easily raised the debt ceiling. They did not. What they did do, in the waning days of the year, was pass a massive trillion-dollar spending package, enabled by progressive Republicans. All that does is exacerbate the issue of inflation, excessive government spending. Now, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a debt ceiling bill that had necessary reductions in spending. Regular order means that the Senate takes that bill and can scrap it and pass their own, or amend it, pass it, and send it back to the House of Representatives. By the constitution, matters of fiscal policy emanate from and get final approval in the US House of Representatives. If there are still unresolved matters between the House and Senate, then a conference committee is called.
Where did this “Let’s Make a Deal” mentality come from? It is not up to politicians to make deals with the largesse of the American people, especially with these irregular processes.
Here is what needs to happen: the federal government must move from the insidious baseline budgeting process to a zero-based budgeting process. There can be no more automatic increases in spending coming off a previous year’s baseline. It is time for the federal government to operate as We the People do, with fiscal responsibility. We cannot raise a household debt ceiling, a dubious concept. We cannot spend beyond our means and keep borrowing money, with no plan of paying our debt. We the People lose our stuff if we try to operate in that irresponsible manner.
At the time of my birth, 1961, the debt of the United States was about $460 billion. Fifty years later when I was sworn into Congress, the debt was around $11 trillion. Now, ten years after my departure from Congress the debt is $32 trillion. This is what “deal-making” has done to our nation. We need to restore constitutional governance and get the federal government back into the limits which the Constitution prescribes. The driver of our debt is government spending and government growth. Our economic growth and personal economic freedom suffers.
There is nothing new about this, Alexander Fraser Tytler, Scottish political philosopher warned us:
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.”
If we keep making deals, instead of constitutional governance and true fiscal responsibility, we will deal ourselves back into economic bondage.
Steadfast and Loyal.