A great friend of America who was completely smitten with the people and the goodness of America was, of course, Alexis de Tocqueville. Tocqueville wrote “Democracy in America” which observed that America was capable of greatness because her people individually were of strong spiritual and religious convictions and were strongly self-reliant. He also foresaw the collapse of the concept of the wonder which was America and wrote of the arrow which would pierce America’s heart and end her greatness and eat itself until it became a hollow shell. His famous quote which described the nation he witnessed on his travels in the United States in the first half of the nineteenth century summed America as, “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” He also predicted her fall with an equally well recognized quote stating, “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” The horror derived from the recent State of the Union Address by President Barack Hussein Obama is that the government has a new direction and that this direction will now be the sole driving impetus for the future, or at least for the two remaining years of President Obama’s final term, is to bribe the people in as broad coverage as possible with government treasures even if it becomes necessary to place the government and the nation even deeper in debt. The government is now solely in the vote buying business and unless there is a change of direction then the greatness of America is mortally wounded and will simply limp ahead eventually stumbling repeatedly until she falls flat on her face drowning in her own largess of promises to the people of treasures which she no longer can gather.
This is not a new situation but simply the result of a predetermined endgame once the federal government realized that through their providing a safety net for senior citizens with Social Security and how it melded the elderly into a group able to demanded increases in the payout from Social Security and thus formed the first untouchable funding program and the first bribery of a group of citizens and their unifying as a voting block to forever protect their access and the amount they received from the government. Can anybody remember a politician winning an election running on a platform to cut Social Security payments or adding means testing to qualify to receive Social Security with lower amounts paid to the more wealthy? I know I cannot name one. Even the most conservative of politicians guarantee that any changes they plan on introducing to reform entitlement programs will promise that those currently receiving government payments need not fear their checks being slashed or even the promised increases figured by changes in economic situations tying their increases as cost of living allowances (COLA) will continue to be determined as in the past. With Social Security they usually guarantee that even those who will be retiring in the next decade or even two decades will still receive exactly the rates they have been promised. The impossibility of changing Social Security payments is simply the best known examples of the impossibility of altering, cutting or even ending any entitlement program due to the opposition of those receiving such payments and often many of the rest of the public for two main reasons, first the American people are a generous people and have deep heartfelt feelings which drives them to support the less wealthy or people having monetary difficulties or whatever reason exists that they receive their subsidies and because once the government is capable of lessening or terminating any subsidy then it becomes that much easier to reduce or terminate other subsidies which may include the subsidy you receive. The truth is that well over half of Americans receive some form of subsidy from the government, many without actually realizing they are receiving a subsidy.
I know, you demand to know how it could be that people are receiving a government subsidy without realizing they are receiving government payments. Many people receive a subsidy known as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) which results in many receiving a larger tax return than the amount of income tax they had withheld. Anyone receiving unemployment insurance is receiving a subsidy. Technically any deductions one takes on their income taxes is technically a form of subsidy. Many corporations receive subsidies from the government which benefits their employees indirectly which is an indirect form of subsidy for the employees of many governments. People with children in the public schools will benefit from subsidies, which cover part of the costs for the school lunch and other meal programs. Social Security is another subsidy which we benefit beyond the amount paid into the system even if they had been invested in the most profitable stocks and bonds provided we manage to live sufficiently long which many will according to the life expectancy. Across the United States the Federal Government pays farmers a milk subsidy for producing milk in areas which are not conducive for raising dairy cows in order to guarantee they will make a decent profit as otherwise milk would be scarce in many locations as shipping milk had been impossible thus making it worthwhile a hundred years ago for paying farmers to raise dairy cows. With modern refrigerated tankers both for railroads and trucks would allow the shipping of milk and dairy products to any location within the United States yet the subsidy had been maintained. Why? Because those farmers across the nation became dependent on that subsidy thus they voted politicians into office who guaranteed their continued dairy subsidies and with the Congressional agreement for mutual backscratching where I will vote for your subsidy and you will vote for my subsidy produces a system which extends every subsidy and for the predictable longevity for any new subsidy which is voted into existence. That alone should produce sufficient fright that the average politician would believe that it would be best to promise not to invent any new subsidies and their constituents would vote for such as it would be prudent and beneficial for the public and governance at large. But people will vote their own pockets and be quite selfish about such thus the politician who can promise the largest numbers of his constituents that he will provide them with treasures from the government endless monetary supply thus buying their votes. Thus, as Alexis de Tocqueville predicted and stated, “Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” His prediction will prove true as the rising national debt is both the proof of de Tocqueville’s prediction and something that unless the people as a whole do not suddenly decide to end their selfish voting habits and start voting for candidates in droves who promise to end the candy train of subsidy after subsidy and elect such politicians universally. Thus far such a trend has shown little if any support from the general public thus we may be witnessing the American greatness teetering on the precipice to ruin and it is simply just a matter of time until America falls beyond the cusp and into the dark void of insolvency. Those few economists and others predicting the coming of difficult times for America are dead on right and predicting when America will fall beyond the cusp will not be difficult, it will come to be within a decade of the financial collapse of the European Union which has been leading the way into that financial void. Americans can watch and do nothing to alter their path or they can see the coming apocalypse and make the needed changes choosing a temporary period of strong austerity and then once the economic health has been reacquired then hopefully we will teach the coming generations of the pitfalls which almost brought America to ruin, but first it will be necessary to teach austerity and the urgent need to the body both politic and public before it becomes irreversible and America will be destined to fail. It is up to the Americans to choose to heal herself.
Beyond the Cusp