This stupid, artificial construct called the fiscal cliff is not the precipice on which we are perched (remember Congress created it when they could not decide how to divide up the bounty of our tax dollars and the unlimited press of the US Treasury). Rather we are on the edge of determining whether the experiment of American democracy can succeed.
When the common man must wake each morning worrying what the Federal Government will do to change his life forever, we are no longer free but simple wards of the state. When the federal government works to break our ties to family and community we are not free but simple wards of the state. When business places more emphasis on lobbying than on product and service innovation we no longer have capitalism but a corrupt economy driven by the state. In short we have totalitarianism.
That anyone believes elections have provided a mandate for federal government action is a farce. Elections are about electing people, most of which were chosen as the lesser of only bad options. In earlier times when we did silly things and our country deviated off track, there was a common morality—the Bible and God—to which we could appeal and the themes there would eventually resonate. Those days are no longer. And while we need to find a new morale authority on which we can collectively appeal, it must not stop us from making some changes to our predicament. The course of our country still only changes because its citizens say “Enough!”
Against such totalitarianism we have only one tool, ourselves. In many respects we have forgotten it in this country but we have been able to see its success around the world against corrupt, dictatorial regimes. We must stand up individually and shout “Enough” and march collectively to change the course of American history. In to the streets, in to the fields, in to the interstate highways, we must march. Peaceful but persistent, energized and enduring.
The patriots and martyrs in this battle will be those individuals that forgo the streams of government money to make a stand on principle placing progeny above their own needs and wants. Having found their way to be successful “legally” in this corrupt system they instead will cut the cord with their only safety net being family, friends and community. They may be individuals, they may be companies heretofore bloated on cronyism. Let the statues be erected to them! Let them be our inspiration!
The fight will be hard and it will be long but there are 3 immediate tangible goals:
- 1. Congress must pass immediately and the President must sign into law a measure that leads to government spending at no more than 18% of GDP by 2018. 18% by 2018! And all future budgets should be stable below this level until clear plans are put in place to shrink the federal government even more. No one will starve at this level. It is at the level of what government spending was in 2000. And it is more than enough for the federal government at this point.
- 2. Congress must pass immediately and the President must sign into law a measure making Congress—the US Senate and US House—a part-time legislature whose members live in their home districts with limited staff and that convenes 3 times throughout the year for not more than 2 weeks. Let the lobbyists come to mainstreet and bolster the local economies rather than simply the economy of Washington, DC. Most of the work done by this body has been harmful to the country not helpful. With too much money, too much staff and too much lobbying we get incomprehensible legislation like Dodd-Frank that pulls the wool over the eyes of the American people and lets “too big to fail” political patrons continue their thievery.
- 3. Congress must pass immediately and the President must sign into law a measure that requires every federal agency to list on the home page of their web site the following information: Budget, number of employees, goals of the agency, performance goals and measurement to those goals. Accountability for the spending of our tax dollars must begin now and this is a small starting point.
Of course much more work will need to be done to restore the balance in favor of the individual in this country. Much will be required to dissolve the federal government back to its core functions of national defense and maintaining a level playing field for interstate commerce. Much will be required to bolster our local governments and state governments. Much will be required to teach us personal responsibility and accountability.
But in this winter of our discontent, these 3 goals are achievable and can lead to our American Spring in which the foundations of our American Democracy are restored and the hard work ahead begins. Peaceful but Persistent, Energized and Enduring.
It starts by shouting ENOUGH! Now RISE!