I voted last week to avoid the rush. Standing in the booth, I looked at the two electable choices and was reminded of something I was told Doug Wilson once said: it’s as if Republicans and Democrats are in a car driving our nation toward a massive cliff. When Republicans are in the driver’s seat, they push on the brakes; when Democrats are in the driver’s seat, they push on the accelerator.
But neither turns away from the cliff.
Which means it’s just a matter of time until we go over. We can already feel the rocks sliding beneath us as we get closer – but no one seems to be able to turn away. And whomever the next President is likely won’t turn us away, either. If it’s Romney, we may get a little more time. If it’s Obama, then we’ll certainly get less.
How do I know this? Because there are 5 things the President should do to fix our economic problems, but just will not. Here they are:
1) The President should state unequivocally that the President cannot fix the economy. Ever since the days of Hoover and FDR, Presidents have been deluded into thinking that they can turn the reins of government toward better economic pastures. This is not the role of the President and he does not have the ability to do this.
How do I know that? Because, by definition, the government cannot produce anything. It can only restrict, consume, and re-direct the production of its citizens. And 100 years of global history has shown us that governments of all shapes and stripes consistently mess things up when they take direct action to manipulate the economy. The President of the U.S. is no different in this regard.
But he will never admit it.
2) The President should commit to dismantling as much of the 4th branch of government as possible. What is the 4th branch? The Administrative Branch that wields more long-term power than the Judicial, Legislative, and Executive combined. The best picture of the ballooning Administrative branch is to realize there were only 4 cabinet positions in George Washington’s government. There are now 15 official ones and endless czars, directors, overseers, etc.
There is a legion of bureaucrats that act like heavy blankets suffocating out our nation’s productive potential. These are the people who are restricting, consuming, and re-directing the production of the People. They do this to the tune of trillions of dollars a year. Apparently, the last President who truly cut into the size of government was…Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929).
What would such cuts look like today? The abolishment of multiple cabinet positions and huge sections of the federal government for a start. This would push many things back to the states for local (and more effective) oversight. And many states would likely think a number of these functions are unnecessary to continue.
3) The President should publicly recognize that the Federal Reserve System is the true cause of many of our nations’ worst economic problems, then work to stop it. The Federal Reserve Act was signed into law in 1913 by Woodrow Wilson – in other words, a century ago. The result of that act was to put our nation’s money supply into the hands of a quasi-governmental/private organization with two primary jobs: serve U.S. banks and serve the U.S. government at the average citizen and taxpayer’s expense.
Of course, how this happens is ridiculously complex. But plenty of books have been written explaining it.
The proof that the Federal Reserve is an instrument of extremely sophisticated robbery is quite simple: over the past 100 years, the dollar has lost 97% of its value. This is like you handing me $1000, and I giving you $30 back, then telling you it’s worth exactly the same.
It is the curse of inflation – and the Federal Reserve and the banking system are the only ones who control inflation in the U.S.. Just remember: the 5th measure to implementing Communism as explained in Marx’s Communist Manifesto is “centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.” In other words, the Federal Reserve System.
4) The President should tell the American people that Republicans and Democrats have accepted the basic tenets of socialism, but disagree on how best to implement them. He should then disavow them. Listening to the recent debates was instructive. When Paul Ryan – considered by many to be politically and financially conservative – argued the sanctity of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, then the argument was over.
These three are all socialist programs that forcibly redistribute private property by means of the fourth branch of government. It doesn’t matter that they are popular; they are still socialist.
Social Security is the perfect example: the first person who retired on it had put in $24.75, but received $22,888. Everyone who truly understands how the system works knows that it’s not a real savings program, but a socialist security net that is stretched to the breaking point. As is Medicare and Medicaid. And all three of them contribute to the $200+ trillion in unfunded entitlements facing us over the next generation.
Theodore Lowi explains in The End of Liberalism that the government does not follow the original Constitution, but instead follows a politically-shrewd, yet tacit system that works to restrict, consume and re-direct the production of the people to special interest groups. This is part of the administrative welfare state that also includes corporate welfare.
But it’s just socialism and re-distribution by other names. And the basic problem with socialism is, as Margaret Thatcher explained: you eventually run out of other people’s money. It’s happening now.
5) The President should require Congress to create a balanced budget that’s lean on pork, then commit not to signing any prior legislation until they provide it to him. People often talk about Congressional gridlock, but the President has the unique power to focus all his energies on one thing early in his career and push and kick and until it happens. And as far as balanced budgets go, Congress simply doesn’t have the will power to make this happen. So it’s up to the President.
A strong president could, and should, focus on a balanced budget – but, sadly, won’t. It would require drastic cuts in all sorts of areas and large parts of the country would be up in arms. But if he did it early in his four years, he’d have plenty of time to let the economy start getting back on its feet and the nation would realize the truth of a basic principle.
It’s a principle that few politicians seem to understand: politics is about removing government from the private sphere so that businesses and individuals can pursue their God-given vocations and build a healthy economy. Although his White House didn’t always act according to his own philosophy, the great Ronald Reagan did understand the perils of the federal government. As he explained:
The federal government has taken on functions it was never intended to perform and which it does not perform well. There should be a planned, orderly transfer of such functions to states and communities…
After all, the problem is quite obvious. But is President Reagan the last of our presidents to do something about it?
Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem.