Saturday, April 9

Why the federal government is out of control and won't rein in spending

Once upon a time our nation had a Constitution. It was a wonder, the product of years of careful study by some of the best minds in the land.

The document still exists, but the United States no longer honors it--and in fact stopped doing so decades ago.

When politicians got away with violating the Constitution the first time, and weren't executed or imprisoned for life for doing so, the game was over--the Constitution was effectively dead.

That sounds very dramatic, so you're inclined to think it's just a metaphor, but it's literally true: If no agency is willing to enforce the Constitution--and severely punish any pol who violates it--then how can anyone possibly imagine that document still has any actual effect?

By all accounts most of the Founders were not only extremely smart but also keen observers of human behavior. They knew that the people elected to represent the citizenry were simply human, and that many would be inclined to pass laws that would increase their own power and importance. So in crafting the Constitution the Founders took great pains to limit the power of the central government.

They thought they'd succeeded.

And they gave the courts the task of striking down any law that violated the Constitutional limits of that power, trusting that the courts would do as they were instructed, thus keeping the president and congress within the bounds set in the founding document.

But in less than a century that marvelously crafted architecture--the brilliant system of checks and balances so carefully devised to keep government in check--was destroyed, by politicians and judges who valued immediate political gain over some relatively ancient principle they either didn't believe or didn't fully understand.

Politicized or corrupt judges failed to strike down unconstitutional measures that they felt would help their party or the nation. If the latter, at least it's more understandable, but still shortsighted.

So now that the Constitution is effectively dead, what does the future hold for us?

You may have heard that the U.S. spends more on Social Security and Medicare than on national defense. That's true, and slated to get much worse as our population ages.

You may also have heard that the federal government is spending so much more than it takes in that even if we cut every gubmint program except SS and Medicare, we still wouldn't have a balanced budget. Which means the only way back from the brink is to shrink those two vast programs.

But given Democrat resistance to any cuts whatsoever, this isn't gonna happen unless the GOP gains control of both the Senate and the White House--and possibly not even then, given the RINO-ish tendencies of so many nominal Republicans.

So when it comes to the financial crisis set in motion by stupid or partisan or self-serving pols, I don't see our current government resolving the problem other than the devastating way of printing more money. Which will destroy the middle class, as it did in Weimar Germany.

It's not that there aren't any good people in congress. It's just that they're outgunned by the bad ones. Thus after Republicans finally win a majority in the House of Representatives, promising to *initially* cut spending by $100 billion, they're blocked by Dems in the Senate and finally forced to settle on $38 billion in cuts. While that's certainly far, far better than previous congresses, it illustrates how powerful the big-spending, big-government faction is--and it's largely made up of Democrats.

I find it amusing that congressional Dems are always whining about how the eeevil corporations get huge handouts from the administration, and often pay no taxes, and how this is an outrage!!! So why don't they fix that? Why not offer to match the GOP's $38 billion in cuts with similar cuts in handouts to corporations? Surely Democrat voters would welcome that, right?

But of course the Dems in congress do no such thing. They'd rather bitch about the situation than fix it.

Wonder why?

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