The out-of-control government spending we are witnessing right now began under George W. Bush. That much is true. But, just because Bush did it does that mean that it is okay for Obama and the Dems to accelerate it? No, absolutely not. If Bush was wrong for running up a $2 trillion debt, then Obama is five and a half times as wrong for wanting to run up an $11 trillion debt. (For those of you who don't understand the math, here is the equation: 11/2 = 5 1/2.)
That basically sums up Glenn Beck's thesis in his #1 bestseller Common Sense. Taking some inspiration from Thomas Paine, the author of the original Common Sense, Glenn has built up an argument that shows us why we, as a nation, are on the wrong path, what will likely happen as a result of going down this path and why we should hold those in power (both Democrat and Republican) accountable for what they've done.
The Founding Fathers who wrote the U.S. Constitution knew what dangers there were in a government that over-reaches its powers. Glenn reminds us of this throughout the book with passages such as the following:
|Thomas Jefferson knew that government debt was not only bad economic policy but also morally unacceptable because it effectively makes your children responsible to pay for what you bought. He said, "The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale." If that wasn't clear enough, he also said that politicians should consider themselves "unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves ..."|
I am not aware of any other commentator who even knows about that quote from Jefferson much less actually reminds us of it. But, since most of us don't know the numbers or don't seem to care enough about what those numbers mean, we simply let it go and expect someone else to handle the problem for us.
That is not possible in the current situation. Here's why: Our interest payment to service our debt stands at $26 billion per month. That's right, per month. That's money that is sent to our creditors rather than going to upgrade schools or roads here in the U.S. Multiply that by 12 and you get $312 billion per year. If the government taxed away the total profits of Exxon-Mobil, General Electric, Wal-Mart and IBM, we wouldn't even have enough to pay one-third of the interest payment on the debt much less pay down the debt! Where is the rest of this money going to come from? Small businesses? Higher taxes on the middle class? (As I write this, the Dems in Congress are already working on several new plans that will raise taxes and depress our economy even further which means even less ability to pay down the debt.)
With this type of insanity going on in Washington D.C., Glenn asks another very important question: "Why do we keep sending these bozos back to Congress?" Therein lies the crux of the title of this book. Sending the current crop of politicians back to D.C. defies common sense.
And here is another good excerpt:
|President Obama announced that his 2009 budget was projected to produce a $1,700,000,000,000 deficit. If you break that down you find that we're spending $4,657 billion every day for a year, which breaks down to $53,906.64 per second.|
Our government is spending in one second what most Americans don't even make in a year! How sustainable is that? It isn't, which is why all of this fiscal madness is only going to bring us to economic disaster and ruin.
And this brings us to one of the most poignant questions any commentator has ever asked:
|Borrowed money has to be paid back - but it won't be us who will have to do it. Our children will question our sanity for spending money we did not have on "bridges to nowhere," skateboard parks, tattoo removel, and other pork-laden projects that politicians stuffed into "must pass" legislation. They will wonder why we tolerated such reckless behavior from our elected leaders instead of holding them accountable.|
How will we respond?
Indeed, how will we respond? More specifically, how will you respond if your child or grand-child comes up to you after they've turned 18 and asks why they are working to pay off a debt that they didn't vote to incur and from which they are getting no benefit at all?
I doubt anyone will have a good answer to that question. I know I don't.
I highly recommend this book to all Americans whether Democrat, Republican, Lbertarian or otherwise. The issues brought up by Glenn Beck are not political so much as they are national concerns that will touch every single one of us in very negative ways.
Each of us has a choice. Either a) stand up and finally tell Congress to bring spending under control or risk losing their next elections, or b) just sit back, do nothing and wait until the dollar collapses and our children wake up to find themselves up to their foreheads in a debt that they did not incur but will be held responsible for.
I'm sure that you can see choosing the latter will mean that you waited too long to become active.