If we can vote for, and elect politicians who promise us less, there’s a chance that we can rescue the Representative Republic of the United States. The past several decades have seen an ever-increasing cycle of public officials who campaign on a whole host of promises designed to get them into office.
Most, if not all, of these promises are not kept in their purest form. All of them, however, are geared towards an intrusion into what is now an enormous trough of public funds.
Not large enough, however. The fundamental issue is that there is not, and never will be, enough cash to deliver on most of promises made by politicians running on the local, state and federal level. Government by nature is enormously wasteful in its treatment of money.
This has given us an unsustainable system. One based on the concept of an elected official bringing more and more public money back into the individual district or state. Of course, there’s no such thing as the proverbial free lunch. As such, money “received” from one district or state is merely that which is obtained at the expense of a fellow citizen residing elsewhere.
When an overwhelming amount of election promises have been made; when the exorbitant bill is presented to the official and his staff to “pay off” the help enlisted during the campaign; and when the various deals are cut in local boards, state assemblies and Congress, one arrives at our present condition.
Trillions of dollars in debt. A crushing deficit. A dependence on questionable allies with money. The situation in which we find ourselves today.
And this is nothing new.
We have been warned of abusive government spending since the 60s. William Simon, an official in both the Nixon and Ford Administrations, wrote two books about the disastrous results of excessive federal largesse. A Time For Truth and A Time For Action spelled out the effects and consequences of electing officials who promised more, more and then even more. Mr. Simon’s questioning by various Congressional subcommittees is an excellent showcase for the utter ignorance and contempt displayed by public officials when confronted with the realities of an unaccountable system. William Simon eventually left public service and returned to the private sector. He believed the Fed wanted no part of an honest and forthright discourse on economic matters.
This is not a partisan issue. It is a Democratic AND a Republican engendered situation. Both parties are, and have been, culpable. However, there is one other group that shoulders more of the responsibility.
The American public. We have allowed this to happen. We have been convinced that the person, for whom we punch the ballot, is going to “deliver” on his or her campaign promises. Fiscal common sense be damned.
And until we’re ready to vote for officials who have the courage to run promising us less, we will continue to place ourselves, our children and our grandchildren in a continued cycle of higher unemployment, lower productivity and weaker position in the world.
The American public has a choice. Every single election day, we have a choice. The question now is, do WE have the courage to vote for someone who actually stands on a podium and espouses less public money for their represented constituency?
Originally posted at Kooktown.Blogspot.com on 22 April 2010