Our government now owes more money than all of us in the country put together possess.
As of Sep. 30, federal financial statements showed approximately $56.4 trillion in
debts, liabilities, and unfunded promises for Medicare and Social Security, the
Peter G. Peterson Foundation reported. The Federal Reserve estimated total
household net worth at that time at $56.5 trillion.
Since then the stock market has crashed, tens of billions of dollars of personal
wealth have evaporated, and the government has committed $700 million to bail out
A government which long has been morally and intellectually bankrupt is now
financially bankrupt too.
An example of moral and intellectual bankruptcy is the $1 trillion "stimulus"
package Congress is contemplating to encourage us to continue the behaviors that got
us into this mess in the first place.
We've been living beyond our means on money borrowed mostly from the Chinese. Like
Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme, this had to end at some point, and could only end
The stock market crash has sobered many of us up. We're saving as much as we can to
guard against the rainy days that appear likely in our future.
But tens of thousands of Americans make their living selling us things we don't need
and can't afford. If we live within our means, their jobs are in jeopardy, and the
recession could deepen.
The theory behind the stimulus package is that we can spend our way out of the
recession. As former Sen. Fred Thompson put it, this is like telling a fat guy the
way to lose weight is to eat more.
The stimulus package Congress passed last Spring didn't work, and this one probably
won't, either. But it will delay necessary reforms, and could make the inevitable
crash more painful.
We're like alcoholics who've been on a 30-year bender. We can't quit cold turkey
without a painful period of adjustment. But if we don't go through that period of
adjustment, we can't ever get well. America can't in the long run be prosperous
unless we make things other people want to buy, and finance most of our investments
through our own savings.
Democrats will run things for the next four years, so the recession should last at
least that long. That's because the economic philosophy of the Democratic Party is
to subsidize failure and punish success. Bailing out auto companies that couldn't
make money in good times, and raising taxes on those job creators who are still
making money may be good for gathering votes, but not for growing an economy.
I used to infuriate my English teacher in high school by declaring that all anyone
needed to know about life could be found in the works of Rudyard Kipling. (She was
not a fan of the bard of the barrack-room.) But the more I see of the world, the
more sure I am that this is so. My favorite Kipling poem is "The Gods of the
"We were living in trees when they met us. They showed each of us in turn, that
water would certainly wet us, as fire would certainly burn. But we found them
lacking in Vision, Uplift, and Breadth of Mind, so we left them to teach the
gorillas, while we followed the March of Mankind...
"With the hopes that our world was built on, they were utterly out of touch. They
denied that the moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch; they denied that
wishes were horses, they denied that a pig had wings; so we worshipped the gods of
the Market, who promised these beautiful things....
"In the Carboniferous Epoch, we were promised abundance for all, by robbing selected
Peter, to pay for collective Paul. But though we had plenty of money, there was
nothing our money could buy, and the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: 'If you
don't work, you die.'
"...And after this is accomplished, and the Brave New World begins, When all men are
paid for existing, and no man must pay for his sins, as surely as water will wet us,
as surely as fire will burn, the Gods of the Copybook Headings, with terror and