Smoke and Mirrors
Like a sleight-of-hand-artist on a busy street with a briefcase that turns into a table, three walnuts shells and a pea the perpetually re-elected and their town criers in the Corporations Once Known as the mainstream Media appear to be perennially able to fool the perpetually distracted by pulling a metaphorical quarter out of their ear.
I know a professional revolutionary. We grew up together. He has correctly diagnosed America’s disease as a corporate cult in a symbiotic relationship with a corrupt government. He deftly outlines the general theory, although not the specifics of how crony capitalists and political hacks have crafted a system wherein money laundering has become national policy. The political hacks fleece the sheeple through taxes and inflation. They give the money to their accomplices in the flimflam corporations who funnel huge chunks of cash back to the hacks for re-election. Every few years the sheeple rouse themselves out of their media induced coma long enough to be herded to the polls to vote for more of the same.
Yes, the professional revolutionaries and their government educated followers have correctly diagnosed the disease. However, they have prescribed poison instead of medicine. Their answer to the curse of Corporatism’s National Socialism is less nationalism and more socialism. Since corporatism has built a coffin our body politic cannot seem to claw its way out of, he prescribes cutting out the crony capitalists and giving the whole operation to the political hacks. In other words if the black shirts have ruined the country let’s try the reds. That would be as transparent as fighting the most horrendous war in human history because Hitler attempted to pull Poland into his freedom smothering embrace and then giving Poland to Stalin.
Headlines and talking heads scream for days, “The Super Committee cannot fail or the sky will fall!” Endless hours in the 24 hour news cycle are devoted to debating, “Will the Super Committee succeed or will they fail?” Meanwhile most of the sheeple are consumed with concern about the NBA strike, a celebrity drowning thirty years ago, or was Kim’s wedding a set-up all along. Then we’re told he Super Committee failed accompanied by endless squabbling about who caused the failure.
It is all nothing but Kabuki, a form of Japanese drama based on popular legends and characterized by elaborate costumes, stylized acting.
Remember how the Super Committee became so super? It didn’t come from another planet with a red sun and lower gravity. It was instead the Frankenstein created as the cover for another rise in the debt ceiling. The Tea Party had just made a Herculean effort in the 2010 elections and achieved an historical sweep of the House of Representatives. Over sixty newly minted congressmen owed their seat at the table of plenty to the greatest grassroots movement America has seen in generations. They had campaigned on changing the culture of corruption in Washington, stopping the deficit spending, severing the cord to the crony capitalists, and paying down the national debt.
Before they could even arrive the Republican leadership colluded with a recently humiliated inexperienced president and a recently repudiated Democratic leadership to extend the Bush tax cuts in exchange for more spending in the lamest of all lame duck sessions. Then as soon as the fresh troops arrive they raise their hands in salute to the same old Republican leadership, renew the patriot Act, pass a series of continuing resolutions allowing the drunken sailors to continue spending, and then vote to raise the debt ceiling by another few trillions. Oh but they fought! They wrangled and they refused to give the Spender in Chief more trillions of our great grandchildren’s money unless he agreed to a Super Committee backed up by automatic cuts and automatic tax increases in future deficits totaling trillions of dollars in cuts. This was drama worthy of As Washington Turns. If it was joke it wouldn’t be funny.
To begin with the Super Committee wasn’t filled with deficit hawks and balanced budget advocates. It was instead filled with the most partisan members from both wings of the Party of Power guaranteeing there would be no settlement. Obviously the plan all along was for the automatic cuts and taxes to come into play, over the next ten years. In other words the spendaholics of this Congress are going to place limits on the credit card of following Congresses who have the ability to vote away the limits any time they want to. How could that ever fail?
The smoke and mirrors of political theater is meant to hide the fact that all they’re arguing over is reducing the yearly deficits way off there in the future somewhere. All they ever discussed was slowing the rate of increase. Even if the most draconian plan so far introduced by the young firebrand Representative Ryan had been adopted the budget still went up every year, and the national debt still grew every year. And though there would have been more and more spending with no end to the red ink in sight Ryan was portrayed as pushing Grandma off the cliff and a large percentage of the population believes it. This is baseline budgeting wherein the proposed budget becomes the base for what is cut. In other words our leaders can cut all day and the spending still goes up.
It is time to tell our hypnotized fellow citizens to take the blinders off. Wake up! The house is on fire and the firemen are pouring gasoline on the flames.
The system is broke and it is becoming very clear that all the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t put this thing together again. The spending goes on every second of every minute of every hour of every day. The tax code that ostensibly is designed to pay for it all is in reality a bewildering maze meant to trap those unsophisticated enough not to hire an army of tax lawyers and accountants while legally recognized persons such as GE file 57,000 page tax returns on fourteen billion in profits and pays no tax at all.
While the hemorrhaging of our descendants wealth goes on night and day we are being set up for the next battle to raise the debt ceiling, the balanced budget amendment. Even if this long threatened turkey could finally make it to the block what good is a balanced budget amendment? The spendthrifts we call a government can still spend all they want as long as they raise enough money to pretend to cover at least the on budget portion of the swag. And where do you think they will raise the money? They will either raise taxes or print money. Either way we pay so they can play. What we need is a spending amendment that limits spending to a prescribed percentage of the GDP.
At one time the best tongue in cheek advice for coping with the policies of the convention of confidence men masquerading as the American government was get a government job and study Spanish. Now the situation has descended even beyond the black humor of that cynical joke. Today the best advice may be to hunker in the bunker, store food, and learn enough History so you can tell those who come after what America used to be.
Last year I thought it was time to take the gloves off and tell America the emperor has no clothes. To do so this advocate of the Constitution and limited government wrote The Constitution Failed. A book which places current events in a constitutional and historical context proving that while our nation was founded upon a document meant to limit government we now stand face-to-face with an unlimited government. I believed it was time to sound the alarm. I thought people were ready to admit the terrible truth; our government does little more than tip its hat to the Constitution while doing whatever it wants. The first step in solving any problem is admitting you have a problem. The second is recognizing what that problem is. My hope is that The Constitution Failed will help people recognize and identify the problem so that we the people can reach a solution.
As one who has been pounding this drum and singing this song for fifty years all I can do is wonder, will the drowning Lady Liberty finally see the life preserver as she goes down for the last time? Will she finally grasp the Constitution as the only thing that has ever guaranteed limited government, personal freedom and economic opportunity in America? Will she remember her past and save her future or will she sink beneath the waves of government regulation and drown in the red tape of an all-powerful central government?
I wrote The Constitution Failed to make a difference. I wrote it because I see my beloved country walking off a cliff into the abyss of socialism and I am compelled to throw out the life line.
If you want to read The Constitution Failed send me an email with your address and I will send you a complimentary copy. I want to see the re-birth of limited government. I want to see personal liberty and economic freedom continue to exist in this: the last best hope of mankind. And I’m ready to put my money where my heart is, limited government, personal liberty and economic freedom.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College. He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2011 Robert R. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens