Change Course or Collapse? Choose
by TOM MCLAUGHLIN
December 1, 2011
Hard times are ahead. As a nation, we’re marching toward a cliff and the question is: Will we continue and go off the precipice or will we change course? Anyone with a basic knowledge of arithmetic knows things cannot go on as they are. Political leaders have promised that we can provide medical care for the poor, the elderly, and now everyone else as well - forever.
They talk as though it will be possible to provide food, clothing and housing for anyone who asks too. I’m no math genius, but even I know that’s impossible. Yet our political leaders insist that if we increase taxes on the rich we’ll be able to keep marching. They have to know that even if we taxed the rich at 100% it would only provide enough revenue to keep going for a few more months before bankruptcy.
So many Americans have depended on government for so long, they don’t know how to take care of themselves. But if the country goes bankrupt - if we march off that cliff - all that government assistance will end abruptly. Then what? Chaos, of course. Many are preparing for exactly that scenario to one degree or another and I see what they see, but isn’t there still some way to avoid it?
That we cannot continue as we’re going is indisputable, but what’s the alternative? How can we avoid marching off the cliff? Can we make cuts to the checks and programs slowly? Can we do it slowly enough to both avoid the cliff and give dependent Americans time to adjust to making their own way? Will they?
There was a time in America - still in the memory of living citizens - when people did live by their own labors. Those who could not were supported by families or by churches and private charities. Can we gradually return to that kind of nation? Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I prefer to think we can. I prefer to think there are still enough Americans who realize the path we’re on leads to bankruptcy and chaos. I prefer to think there are enough of us to elect a congress and president who will cut the behemoth government has become - cut it surgically, systematically and incrementally. If we do it gradually, can we avoid chaos? Can we avoid violence?
The writing is on the wall…
Whoever we elect must also be capable of explaining to the American people in terms they can understand why cutting is vital to our survival, why it has never been possible for government to fulfill the promises it made. Look at Social Security alone: it can only work when there are more people being born than are growing old - as long as children in American families outnumber parents. That’s how it was in America while I was growing up, but it isn’t that way anymore. Those who dreamed up Social Security during the New Deal and added more expensive social programs during the Great Society, then started preaching about over-population. They championed birth control and abortion to prevent births, then justified it all by preaching that “the planet” couldn’t sustain them. What they conveniently overlooked was that the world they thereby created couldn’t sustain their beloved Social Security either. The children they prevented or the 45 million they killed in the womb since Roe v Wade in 1973 would not be paying FICA taxes. Social Security is a Ponzi scheme with elderly baby boomers as its beneficiaries until it collapses. Those children they did allow to be born are the ones who get stiffed. Medicare and other Great Society programs have similar scenarios.
The handwriting is on the wall. Unlike Babylonian king Belshazzar, we don’t need a biblical prophet to translate it for us. We don’t even need a calculator because the arithmetic is simple. The handwriting on the wall for 21st century Americans reads: “Change course or collapse.”
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Tom McLaughlin is a (now retired) history teacher and a regular weekly columnist for newspapers in Maine and New Hampshire. He writes about political and social issues, history, family, education and Radical Islam. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.