Saturday, May 08, 2010

It's not all Greek to me

I think the biggest obstacle conservatives face is this: Americans simply do not make the connection between our national debt and the freedoms we enjoy. It's almost like the Meijer Bucks we get in newspaper ads here in Michigan. It's not real money, but a Meijer Buck gets you a dollar off your next purchase. But instead of Meijer Bucks, what we have in Washington is GovBucks. It's not real money, you see. You can use it to buy neat stuff like highways, aircraft carriers, and health care, but we don't really have to pay it back, because it never really existed in the first place. I suppose there's a bit of truth to that. It didn't exist in the first place. We had to borrow it, either from ourselves or other countries.

This of course, is a fallacy. GovBucks do need to be repaid, and at interest. I won't get into the whole debt to GDP ratio, because honestly, there's no need to. This really is common sense. If you spend more than you take in, and continue doing so year after year, you will lose your house, your car, everything you own. What does that mean to a nation? Well, Greece is showing us.

Greece is a typical nation that had been drawn into a European style socialism, where services were provided to the populace by a generous government. We call them "entitlements." It's a word tossed around so often I think we've grown numb to it. I prefer the term "social narcotics," or sonarcs.

The pushers of these sonarcs are those who we refer to as "progressives." So the entitlements are the drugs and the progressives are the pushers. Follow me? I love a nice word picture.

Let's use our biggest sonarc as an example: social security. Social security was one of many sonarcs established by FDR, a progressive of monumental proportions. An interesting side note about sonarcs. Like drugs, the negative effects are rarely immediate. The repercussions often take years, even decades. This results in the initial orchestrator of the sonarc looking like a hero because that first hit felt so darn good. That's why I often refer to the Democratic Party (the official home of pushers) as the Party of Unintended Consequences. Social security, established during the Great Depression (remember, never let a crisis go to waste), when Americans were desperate for any hope the government could offer. They could not see seventy years into the future, when this program would begin to bankrupt the nation. Other disastrous sonarcs include Medicaire, HUD, the central bank, etc. All seem wonderful ideas at first, but soon prove to cause far more harm than good.

Unfortunately, like the drug user, we the people soon discover that
a) we cannot live without our sonarc, and
b) it will eventually kill us.

Such is the case in Greece. So addicted to their "free" government programs have they become that they simply do not care that it will kill them in the end. But there is simply no choice, the pusher is out of product, therefore he must cut off his customer cold turkey. And, like the addicted drug user, the people of Greece are responding with violence.

Here's what foreclosure means to a nation: no more public services. No highway repair, no military, no police force, no public education, nothing that requires federal or state funds. In a word: anarchy. Ironically, anarchy is what liberals claim that conservatives aspire to. When, in fact, it is liberal-progressive policies that will lead us there. The pusher will not stop pushing as long as he maintains power over his victim. You see, the drug works two ways. We get our sonarcs, the pusher gets power and our admiration, though only as long as the sonarcs continue to flow.

When a third party steps in and offers intervention, both the pusher and the addict hate him. Much like a family member is hated by the addict when intervention is attempted. That's why conservatives are so viciously attacked on both sides. We are hated because we love. We love our country and countrymen so much that we are willing to endure endless assaults upon our character, our patriotism, even our personal lives. All because we see the blindness of the addict and the cruel intent of the pusher and work tirelessly to save them both.

American must decrease the flow of sonarcs before we are forced to go cold turkey. While things like the health care bill may appear compassionate on the surface, they do nothing more than increase our reliance on our pusher, the federal government, and draw us one step closer to anarchy. This, the liberal Democrats say, is compassion. If you don't stick just one more needle in your arm, you'll suffer withdrawals. Please, they say, stick with us and we'll make your life better, you need not think for yourselves. We're here for you. Just one more, buddy. And all the pain will go away.

It's time to send the pushers packing my friends. Take a good hard look at what's happening in Greece. This is our future if we continue down the path the progressive Democrats have set us upon.


C Scott Morris said...

I have to disagree with you. It's not the social programs that are bankrupting us, it's no-bid contracts to Haliburton. It's three billion dollars is cash lost in Iraq. It's tax breaks for the rich.
One more point, before you delete my comment. If you believe a word of what you are saying, then give it up. All of it. No more sonarcs for you. No public schools for your kids, no driving on public roads. No using the police force to protect your freedoms, and absolutely none, not a single one of your freedoms can be protected by our socialized armed forces.

Ron Estrada said...

C Scott, first of all, I would never delete your comment. As long as it's respectful and profanity-free, it's in.

Now, onto my answer.

The total portion of the U.S. military cost is about 20% of our budget, about equal with social security. Medicare and Medicade combined take up a little more than that. If war put our country into debt, then WWII and Viet Nam should have bankrupted us long ago. We recovered the debt from these wars quickly. While I'll agree that the U.S. cannot afford to be the world's policeman, it's a huge gray area to determine where we should use our power. Regardless, a war is not an ongoing entitlement. It can be cut off and paid for.

As for taxing the rich, this is a socialists fantasy. If we tax all those making over $200,000 per year %100 of their income, it wouldn't scratch the surface of our deficit. As it is, the top %20 of earners pay 86% of the income tax. Remember, the rich also provide the jobs. There comes a point where it's simply not worth the effort to build a business and hire employees if the government is simply going to take most of your earnings.

Lastly, you've made my point. That's exactly where we'll end up if this unsustainable path continues. We can debate public education. Personally, I think the private sector could handle it better. You'd save thousands in tax dollars, only spending the money for your kids to go to the school of your choice. Roads, police, and national defense are the responsibility of the government, whereas social security and health care clearly are not. Even of those you mentioned, none are the responsibility of the federal government. They are the responsibility of state and local governments, which are much more efficient with our tax dollars.

I ask you again to look at Greece and other European countries as our model. Most of them cannot even blame war for their problem. You simply cannot spend more than you take in, year after year, and expect to survive as a nation. Getting out of this hole will be painful, which is why elected officials won't touch it.

I'll pull together a more detailed outline of the figures I've posted above in the near future. Thanks for the comment. God bless.

Tom Madsen said...

Do you HONESTLY believe that the military only chews up 20% of the U.S. budget? When you include the current military, the military portions of other gov't departments, past veteran benefits and the funds put into the War on Terror that 20% increases to upwards of 50% of the budget.

Ron Estrada said...

I think 50% is a bit unrealistic, Tom. Very Soviet Union. But that's not an important point. Military budgets can be cut at the stroke of a pen. Things like Social Security, however, continue forever and grow faster than our ability to fund them. That's the real danger. Using Greece again, they hardly had a military budget to speak of, yet the welfare state programs dragged them into the misery they find themselves today. What will it be like in America when we have to suddenly rip the benefits from tens of millions? Better to start the slow reversal of these programs now. It will be painful for you and me, but it must be done or our children will find themselves in a much worse predicament.