WEBCommentary Editor

Author: Bob Webster
Date:  February 23, 2009

Topic category:  Other/General

A Federal Government Out of Control

A popular definition for "insanity" is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Continuing to throw ever-increasing amounts of money at a problem that was not created by a lack of federal spending and is made worse each time a new "stimulus" bill is passed, underscores the insanity that grips the U.S. Congress.

Here is the track record for Congressional spending to "fix" the economic recession:

Have you noticed that each bill nearly doubles spending?

This spending history has a consistent thread:

Have you noticed that each bill has failed (miserably) to achieve its objective?

Spending to head off or slow the rate of economic decline has reached $2 trillion! And that's just since last spring!

What is the common link in each bill?

Answer: Congress authorized the spending. Can't blame the President, even if he proposed it. Why? Because Presidents can only propose federal spending. Congress must authorize it.

Who is going to pay for these spending sprees that have done nothing but exacerbate a problem created by Congress in the first place?

Look in the mirror. Look at your children. Look at your grandchildren. Now you know who is going to pay for these congressional excesses.

It isn't just congressional excess. It's congressional insanity!

A popular definition for "insanity" is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

A better illustration for insanity than recent congressional spending on "stimulus" plans would be hard to find.

So what has this Congress (differing from the last only by the size of the Democrat Party majority) just done (with the new President's blessing and encouragement)?

Answer: Congress has just approved yet another pork-infested "stimulus" spending spree!

So to the above history we'll soon be able to add:

Yes, it WILL fail. If you're not convinced, see historic evidence and rationale cited above.

We're already hearing the Obama administration laying the groundwork for yet another "stimulus" spending bill in spring or summer 2009.

Now, just think about the very notion that federal spending can end economic recession.

In order to raise funds to cover the costs of the spending (remember: it's now over $2 trillion), several approaches are likely:

  1. Sell federal bonds to cover the cost. Problem: few are willing to purchase US bonds now, and to fund this much debt, higher interest rates will be required.
  2. Raise federal taxes, assuming such action will increase revenue. Problem: raising taxes will lower revenue, not raise it. Evidence is historic and consistent. Every time taxes have been cut to stimulate the economy, the desired objective was achieved (Kennedy, Reagan, Bush II). Now, if we know from experience that lowering taxes raises federal revenue, what would you expect to happen if the Bush tax cuts that raised federal revenue were allowed to expire? If you said, "federal revenues will decrease", then go to the head of the class -- you're smarter than the U.S. Congress and the new president!
  3. Ratchet up the printing of money. Problem: that approach leads to inflation (remember the "stagflation" years under Democrat President Carter with double-digit inflation and double-digit interset rates?). Printing more money means more dollars chasing the same product/value basis which leads to increased prices.
Clearly, the dangers of unchecked federal spending and pork-laden "stimulus" spending are only made worse by further similar spending. Even a blind man could see that.

The real trail of responsibility for this entire mess leads right back to Democrats in Congress. While never acknowledging their own responsibility, Congress tries to divert attention to the highly publicized abuses by some of those who've received bailout funds which were given out with no strings attached by Congress!

Here's a simple quiz:

Assume you're a Congressman. You've passed four (really, five, if you include the most recent $75 billion for aid to unqualified homebuyers) spending bills with ever-increasing amounts of spending. Now, in each of the three prior stimulus packages (cited above), the objective has failed and deficits rocket up. What would you expect to result from the most recent stimulus spending spree?
If you answered it'll fix the economic problems, then you've got the makings of a typical Congressman!

On the other hand, if you answered "the problem wasn't created by lack of federal spending and it won't be cured by more federal spending", then you possess common sense and intelligence that far exceeds that of the majority of those serving in Congress.

If it's still not clear to you, think about it this way: If federal spending really made for economic improvement, why not spend $10 trillion and get that much more improvement? Is the real problem getting clearer for you now?

Congress continues to prove (annually) that it sees nothing wrong with a policy that:

As noted earlier, doing the same thing and expecting a different result is classic insanity.

Apparently, Congress is no longer an institution of government -- it's become an insane asylum!

Bob Webster
WEBCommentary (Editor, Publisher)

Biography - Bob Webster

Bob Webster, a 12th-generation descendent of both the Darte family (Connecticut, 1630s) and the Webster family (Massachusetts, 1630s) is a descendant of Daniel Webster's father, Revolutionary War patriot Ebenezer Webster, who served with General Washington. Bob has always had a strong interest in early American history, our Constitution, U.S. politics, and law. Politically he is a constitutional republican with objectivist and libertarian roots. He has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion. He is a strong believer in our Constitution as written and views the abandonment of constitutional restraint by the regressive Progressive movement as a great danger to our Republic. His favorite novel is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and believes it should be required reading for all high school students so they can appreciate the cost of tolerating the growth of unconstitutional crushingly powerful central government. He strongly believes, as our Constitution enshrines, that the interests of the individual should be held superior to the interests of the state.

A lifelong interest in meteorology and climatology spurred his strong interest in science. Bob earned his degree in Mathematics at Virginia Tech, graduating in 1964.

Copyright 2009 by Bob Webster
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