President Putin of Russia throwing his imperialistic weight around in Ukraine while thumbing his nose at the U.S. and other Western nations is alarming, to say the least. Just this week, it was reported that Russia test fired a missile that was banned in the 1987 arms agreement with the U.S. Is this the “reset” in nuclear arms that former Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama had in mind when they renegotiated the START treaty with Russia?
Recent developments in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran also help make the case that America’s grip on its position as the world’s only super power is slipping.
The atrocious track-record of our top foreign diplomats of late, and the following partial list should prompt every results-oriented private and public sector leader to scratch their heads.
- the dismal condition of foreign affairs
- sky-rocketing federal debts
- historically high budget deficit
- the high risk of the U.S. dollar losing its world currency status
- the current ineffectiveness of our federal government in virtually every department
The restoration of our national strength and character is a growing imperative, and I believe a duty shared by everyone. Current events suggest that it is urgently needed.
You may recall that I recently wrote about the threat of the U.S. dollar losing its world currency status. (Watch out below! The domineering dollar era may be ending) While the all-knowing central planner types that thrive in and around D.C. may yet have a silver-bullet, my guess is that we are likely to see it happen. The silver lining: in future elections, the central planners are likely to be voted out in favor of those who support constitutional stewardship, limited government, free markets, and fiscal conservatism.
Those who believe that every aspect of our lives should be ordered and planned by the government, have tried to convince us of the wisdom in the following:
- selective use of science in advancing a special interest
- continued expansion of an already intrusive government
- endless legislative and regulatory schemes
- running up massive deficits and debts
Really? This is progress?
Anyone without the scales of ideology over their eyes can see very clearly that we’re in deep trouble as a nation. We have been in decline perhaps for one-hundred years or more, the World War and Cold War periods notwithstanding. It is also increasingly evident that our enemies, and even some of our allies, are planning accordingly.
I don’t believe we are at the point of no return. For instance, on fiscal matters, former presidential candidate and fellow media executive Steve Forbes points out in his new book that we should abandon the current policy of using “fiat money.” He suggests the return to the use of gold to back our currency. It is both a wise and very practical course correction.
As I have written before, if Steve Forbes had been elected president, it’s a safe bet that our fiscal house would be well in order today using conservative fiscal policies that have withstood the test of time. While some economists advocate for fiat money and bigger budget deficits as the best ways to grow an economy, it is not the only way and has proven to be very dangerous and at least in one sense is a violation of the public trust.
Here are four policy pillars upon which our great nation was built. If we want to restore the U.S. to its former level of strength, let’s go back to the future with them. I have expressed them as statements of principle, or general rules.
- The Constitution of the United States as amended is the Supreme Law of the Land and must be strictly upheld and vigorously promoted.
- Citizens can exert greater control over a limited government but have little control over an ever-expanding one.
- The establishment, maintenance, and protection of free markets are the best ways in which everyone can realize economic prosperity.
- Conservatively managing our public finances is a duty owed every citizen.
Are these the only ones? Of course not. Indeed, to continue the architectural metaphor, our national sovereignty, defense, and security can be considered as the exterior of a building, the walls and roof. Here’s how it can be expressed as a statement of principle:
- Maintaining our national sovereignty, defense, and security is the top priority of the federal government, and in turn state and local governments as their resources permit.
Lastly, the moral fabric of our nation can be compared to the foundation and floor of a building. History proves that a society that is morally weak has no chance of sustaining itself. Citizens who don’t know or care about what is fundamentally right or wrong will lack the fortitude to do the right thing when it’s needed the most, such as at a time of war. They will also fail to order their lives, society, and public affairs accordingly. This makes an immoral society which in turn is vulnerable to enemies foreign and domestic. The following principle may be beyond the grasp of the “progressive” liberal. but its merits are irrefutable to students of history:
- Maintaining the moral compass of society, that is, having the ability to judge right from wrong based on objective truths, is a duty shared by all citizens. It should animate a wise and compassionate people to truly look out for the common (public) good.
Alarmingly, the Big Government advocates and their beneficiaries seem to be the majority today. They live in what I’ve referred to as the most populous state in the nation, the State of Denial. They demonstrate through their votes and policies that they care more about what they claim to be “progress” and less about national security and our national financial security.
Their various pet social causes, are simply not the most important issues facing America today. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s a short list of some of what you’ll find them talking or writing about:
- raising the minimum wage even though there is no proof of its economic efficacy
- breaking a mythical glass ceiling for women
- equating LGBT rights to racial inequality
You’ll not hear many practical solutions offered by them on the top issues including:
- the growing threat of terrorism worldwide
- the threat of a dirty bomb paralyzing the infrastructure of much of the continental U.S.
- what happens after we lose world currency status
- if Russia is not our ally, then what do we do about their rogue government
- how long should we support the impotent political body known as the UN?
Take for instance President Obama, the leader of the so-called progressive movement today. In April 3, 2013, he issued a proclamation that read in part,
“I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2013 as National Financial Capability Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month with programs and activities to improve their understanding of financial principles and practices.”
May I suggest, Mr. President, that you focus your attention on the declining financial capabilities of our federal government under your leadership, and that of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV.
That same year, President Obama uttered the following statement: “My goal is not to chase a balanced budget just for the sake of balance. My goal is how do we grow the economy, put people back to work, and if we do that we’re gonna be bringing in more revenue.”
It’s as if he doesn’t trust Congress and the American people to agree on a number of top priorities, and work simultaneously to address them all while maintaining fiscal sanity. In next week’s column, I’ll discuss how this could be easily and relative quickly accomplished.
One of our founders, Thomas Jefferson, developed a keen appreciation for fiscal conservatism as the still young federal government he helped form was showing some of its weaknesses. He wrote:
I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government; I mean an additional article taking from the Federal Government the power of borrowing. I now deny their power of making paper money or anything else a legal tender. I know that to pay all proper expenses within the year would, in case of war, be hard on us. But not so hard as ten wars instead of one. For wars could be reduced in that proportion; besides that the State governments would be free to lend their credit in borrowing quotas.
President Thomas Jefferson (1798, Letter to John Taylor of Caroline, Wikipedia)
According to some budget analysts, the federal budget was last balanced when Bill Clinton was in office and he chose to negotiate with a far more fiscally conservative Congress than we’ve had of late. We can only hope that President Obama or his successor will borrow a page from the Jefferson playbook, or even Clinton’s.
I understand that every state except Vermont has some form of balanced budget amendment in its state constitution. It’s long past the time when we start with that simple measure, although unlike many states, let’s make sure the balanced budget amendment requires all federal benefits and programs be fully funded for at least 75 years. And, of course the amendment should make exceptions for times of war or other national emergency as determined by a supermajority in Congress.
In other words, a federal balanced budget amendment is long overdue. Congress, let’s get it don, or step aside to allow others to make it happen.
— GFC —
The observations, comments, and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the employees, board members, advertisers, sponsors, or affiliates of the publisher or broadcaster. The Copyright © is the author’s who reserves all rights unless otherwise stated. This content is published or broadcast with permission and is distributed by GetCurrentFast.com, a division of American Newzine, Inc.