What the Fiscal Cliff Looks Like

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National Debt Note that today’s debt is worse than during the Great Depression.

Washington Post’s Michael Gerson wrote a column entitled “This is what it’s like when you run out of money.” He appears to be among those who have never run out.

He accurately declares we’re in a time of austerity, and recommends that cutting entitlements is a priority. Agreed.

He asks members of Congress to resist the large lobbying groups they will encounter persuading them to keep their pet projects in tact. Agreed.

Where I depart from Gerson is his recommendation not to cut across the board, along with his flawed excuse that to do so would lack “humanity.”

Virtually every government program has some waste, and many programs include fraud. Citizens Against Government Waste has clearly identified the waste to include subsidies hurting the private market. Check out this short video to get a glimpse of what big government wasteful spending looks like to the price of milk alone:

 

 

It is intolerable that the United States continues to give massive foreign aid to nations that despise capitalism, free enterprise, and prosperity, and that vote against the U.S. consistently at the United Nations. Here’s a revealing chart that illustrates that foreign aid does not equal votes:

 

US Foreign Aid v UN Votes

 

Which nation votes with the U.S. the least, but gets the most U.S. foreign aid? Iraq. That’s a lot of “thanks” for the American lives sacrificed and the time and money spent on helping that nation in time of war.

Which nation votes with the U.S. the most but doesn’t get as much foreign aid? You guessed it: Israel.

Compassion and Debt

When a family is in debt, its ability to be compassionate and caring and to be in a position to gjve aid to others is severely limited. It should be no different with a nation’s budget.

My recommendation: Cut foreign aid according to how other nations vote at the U.N. Are they for this nation or against it?

If parents continue to give allowances to their children that never express gratitude, or that don’t work for it, they only create a spoiled and reckless generation of thankless adults who will continue to abuse their parents in our old age.

This is precisely what Congress has done.  It’s time to be a wiser parent and exercise some tough love.

More on what it’s like when you run out of money…

A family facing fiscal crisis first cuts the discretionary budget by separating wants from needs. Congress must do the same.  Republicans must recognize that the military has wasteful spending, in fact ranked one of the highest.

Get military waste/spending under control.

Democrats must recognize that welfare programs are full of waste.  Cut the pork. Citizens for Government Waste can tell Congress exactly where it is.

This is only a starting point, but one that apparently neither side is capable of addressing.

Next Step: Strong Leadership
Conservative leadership cannot capitulate.  The nation is looking for courageous leadership.

To our conservative representatives:  Be strong under pressure. Now is the time to seize the moment. To cave in to special interests will squander this window of opportunity for conservatives to define themselves as the future and to stake their ground in principles that endure.

As government continues to mushroom, and consequently as more workers are added to the government payroll – workers who will then continue to vote for more government – this may be a last opportunity to slam on the brakes to stop this nation from driving over that fiscal cliff.

Restore the Balance
The United States would not be facing this crisis if its citizens had been more educated, awake and vigilant, enough to elect people of character.  Instead, the uninformed electorate has allowed cowards to govern – those who can be easily bought, those who have been selling our national birthright for a mess of pottage, so to speak.

If Congress would regard its rule of law, if Americans would only elect enough of the courageous who understand what that rule of law means, and if members of Congress have the fortitude to correct the imbalance of power that has resulted from an over-reaching federal bureaucracy, this nation might be able to save itself  from a fiscal demise.

This balance must be restored, not only horizontally between the three federal branches of government, but also vertically between the federal government and the various states.

What of the States?
Which governors and state legislatures will also stand out and show courageous leadership and strength under pressure?  As Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT) recently said, “You can’t expect to restore balance if you continue to ask for and take federal funding.”

Sunsets and Phase-Outs

The most massive federal government program ever – the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) – was given from 2010 to 2015 to phase in.  It would be prudent to do likewise – in the reverse – to many unnecessary federal programs, giving a three- to five-year window to sunset and phase out.  Let  Congress begin with programs that can be better managed, or that are already duplicated, at the state level.  Prepare employees and agencies for the phase-out, providing help with job placement in the private sector.

This approach is only common sense, something the majority of Congressional leaders lack.

Action
If you agree, the American Leadership Fund needs your help today.  Please consider a generous donation so that we can continue to work together, to organize, to advocate for fiscal sanity and to build up a new generation of courageous leadership.

Simply click on the “donate” tab and select the “Balance the Budget” fund.

Thank you for your support.

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