Well, we’ve made it this far.
I usually try to stay away from predicting election outcomes because often I let my optimism get in the way. This time however, I think my expectations are realistic. If you have been paying any attention at all to your newspaper or television over that last few months, you know that Republicans are predicting huge gains in the midterm elections. Pundits predict Republican takeover of the House and recent polls indicate that the Senate might not be out of reach either. After two years in the shadows, Republicans appear poised to return to relevancy.
I’m intrigued to see how Republicans handle having a hand on the steering wheel instead of being relegated to the back seat. I hope Democrats in Congress and the White House will realize that this is a statement from America that their change was not the right kind of change- we need reform that goes beyond reacting to symptoms of dysfunction (I’m looking at you health care bill), we need to attack the dysfunction itself.
House Republicans are already talking about slashing $100 billion in Federal spending from the budget if they gain power in November. It’s a nice gesture, but it’s mostly a political ruse to get people into the polls. $100 billion doesn’t represent the kind of change necessary to begin to fix the problem with America.
The majority of the problems facing America right now come back to one thing: poor fiscal planning and an abuse of power by government in regards to money. Imagine this: you’re playing a game with your brother with a fixed set of rules. The game is set up so you are trying to beat the game, rather than each other, but your individual actions still affect each other. It’s your brother’s turn and he decides to try something new: he changes the rules so that he can arbitrarily change the value and amount of the game money to suit his needs. He doesn’t have to ask you and he certainly doesn’t have to consider what is best for you before acting.
This essentially what happened in the United States in the 1930’s when a bank panic forced the end of the gold standard, a system that guaranteed gold for every piece of paper money. It further deteriorated in 1971 when Nixon ended the gold-dollar standard in response to the Vietnam War and French run on the dollar. Like many things, it worked for awhile. I’m convinced now that the Fed and White House honestly don’t know what to do. They know that the system is broken but aren’t willing to risk their political capital to fix it.
What we have today is a government that takes no responsibility for their actions. Sadly, by election time, it is often too late to undo the actions of rogue politicians en masse. What would happen if you gave a five year-old a credit card with no limit and unlimited access to candy and toys? Mayhem. That’s what we have had for political representation in the last 50 years; a bunch of star struck five year-olds dreaming of new ways to spend money they don’t have. Luckily for them, they can just create it. This year, we are running a deficit of $1.17 TRILLION, which is nearly enough to lay a blanket on $1 bills over the entire state of Connecticut. Where does this money go? Of the entire budget, 61 percent ($2.17 trillion) is devoted to Social Security, Medicare, and interest on the current debt. Whoever said we aren’t a socialized nation clearly hasn’t been thinking clearly, or has determined to ignore the facts.
We have allowed government, Republicans and Democrats alike, to pull the wool over our eyes in exchange for the comfort of not having to worry about what the future holds. I am hopeful that this new batch of legislators, from both parties, will know what I now know. After 70 years of financial malpractice, there is literally no time to waste getting back on track to fiscal solvency.
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