Last week, President Obama signed into law the Democrats’ trillion-dollar health care takeover, meaning that one-sixth of the United States economy has now come under the purview of the federal government. This reckless bill will only further burden our already struggling economic sector, and we're already seeing proof of that as companies like Caterpillar and AT&T are announcing the financial blow this bill will take on their bottom line. Punishing businesses is not what we want with unemployment sitting around 10%.
We can't waste any time in repealing this bill, and I have already introduced legislation in the House that would repeal it completely.
Keep in mind Arizona State economics professor William Boyes has estimated that the government already owns or controls about one-third of U.S. economic activity through the takeover of General Motors, the bankruptcy reorganization of Chrysler, the partial ownership of two of the country’s largest banks in Bank of America and Citigroup, and the seizure of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as AIG.
Taken all together, and we’re looking at half of the American economy in the grip of the federal government.
Now is, to borrow a phrase from Ronald Reagan, a time for choosing; and this is not the direction I would choose to be heading.
After all, we cannot have political liberty without economic liberty or economic liberty without political liberty. Yet, the ever-escalating series of failed government bailouts and so-called stimulus packages is the greatest threat to economic liberty we have faced in generations.
Now is the time for choosing. Yes, we do need dramatic action to move us from this recession. We need regulatory overhaul; free market reforms; deep, permanent tax cuts. But we don’t need growth of government spending and government intrusion. This growing effort to nationalize our banking sector and put America’s middle class on welfare – all in the guise of an economic rescue plan – may permanently erode our freedoms. Of course, these policies will do nothing to spur economic growth. In fact, they will serve only as on obstacle to actual recovery and smother the spirit of innovation and freedoms that made this country great.
Unfortunately, we have not learned from past mistakes and are faced with the time of choosing as to whether this flood of government spending and control becomes an unstoppable deluge, or whether we are able to stem the tide and to save the American people from living under a permanent regime of bigger and bigger government.
Now is a time for choosing. Between free markets and government control. Between individual choice and state fiat. Between the liberties our founders intended for us or a new era of bureaucratic tyranny.
The price of liberty, it is said, is eternal vigilance. And together, we must choose to carry that diligence to eternity.
Michele Bachmann represents Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.