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A Voice from Fly-Over Country
March 22, 2011

U.S. Treasury Secretary — U.S. Must Incur More Debt!
by Robert L. Hale

MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA — On Wednesday, March 16, 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to increase the U.S. debt once again. Voting against the measure were 54 Republicans and 104 Democrats; 271 others voted to continue the status quo and impose billions of dollars in additional debt on America’s taxpayers.

The alternative, according to the proponents who included the House Republican leadership, would be a catastrophe — default on our debt! This was echoed by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Franz Geithner, who said, “Congress has to do it. There’s no alternative.”

Really? No alternative? Bogus! There is an alternative — immediately cease increasing the debt. Apparently, those in a position to fix America’s fiscal nightmare believe they can sleep through it.

When American taxpayers finally awake to the reality of what their elected officials have done to our financial future, it will not be zombies descending upon elected officials; it will be real live taxpayers. Those in Hollywood should be ready to roll the cameras. What they record may well make the French Revolution look tame.

There is never a “good time” to tighten one’s belt, except the sooner the better. The current Administration has, in less than three years, put Americans trillions of dollars in debt by giving our future earnings away to the very people who brought about the demise of our banking system. These people have been made whole as the rest of the American people are left holding the bag. And one of the architects of the fleecing of the American taxpayer — Geithner — is demanding that billions, if not trillions, of additional debt be piled on American taxpayers.

In November 2010, voters overwhelmingly spoke, “Stop the insanity, change directions, stop spending, and impose fiscal restraint.” They replaced Democrats on a wholesale basis. The hope was to see the change that every rational American knows is necessary. But the new leadership in the House of Representatives, like its predecessors, has shown itself to be deaf, dumb, and blind.

Democrats ignored America’s desire to have less government; they prefer to vastly increase federal spending and massively expand government programs. Republicans are ignoring America’s desire to shrink government spending. It is clear that neither party has the will to make needed changes.

Where will voters turn? Neither the Democratic nor the Republican leadership is competent to lead. Both would rather continue to spend, increase government control over our lives, and hope somehow no one notices.

Rhetoric is no longer selling. Americans are experiencing the consequences of the last 70 years of mindless political leadership. Food prices and energy prices are skyrocketing. Crime is out of control. Confidence in government has fallen to an all-time low. Our southern border is letting in millions of illegals — along with tons of drugs — and allowing truckloads of arms and money to flow south. States attempting to fulfill federally mandated Constitutional responsibilities ignored by the federal government are taken to court and forced to do nothing. Our public education system, while spending unprecedented amounts per student, is now the laughingstock of the world. Public-employee unions are bankrupting every political subdivision in which they bargain. The current Administration has proven itself unable to respond to virtually any crisis at home or abroad. America is on the verge of imploding.

There is only one good time to correct a wrong — immediately. Anyone, any party, any pundit preaching otherwise is nothing more than a charlatan.

America must extract itself from foreign entanglements — not next decade, not next year, but now. Congress must cease all new federal programs, eliminate all federal agencies, and end all spending not clearly and specifically authorized by our Constitution. These agencies and spending include education, energy, environment, and agriculture. Congress must abolish all federal public-employee unions and lay off all those who work in such programs.

Harsh? Yes. Impossible? No. Necessary? Absolutely. Congress must abolish the IRS, institute a simple across-the-board (no exceptions), Constitutionally limited, sales tax that funds only proper federal responsibilities and puts us on a course to eliminate America’s debt over the next 20 years. Can it be done? Yes. Will it be done? That is the question. If we do not do this voluntarily, it will be done for us, or to put it more bluntly — to us.

No one and no government is too big to fail. History has proven this again and again. America is not and will not be an exception. Failure to take dramatic steps to resolve our dramatic and real problems guarantees America will end up in the ash heap of historical empires that have disappeared.

The only way to escape history’s lesson is to reverse course. Reversing course requires true leadership and hard choices — yet clear and obvious choices. Reversing course will be painful; but doing so will, with proper leadership, renew the spirit that made America great: rugged individualism, self-reliance, self-confidence, and pride in one’s self and those who exhibit these same traits.

Continuing to expand our welfare culture; continuing to confiscate the fruits of the labor of others and give it away; continuing to savage success and extol sloth, envy, and covetousness will give us more debt and hasten the demise of a once great America. The choice is clear — it will be Secretary Geithner’s path or a change in direction — there are no other alternatives.

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A Voice from Fly-Over Country is copyright © 2011 by Robert L. Hale and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation. All rights reserved.

Robert L. Hale received his J.D. in law from Gonzaga University Law School in Spokane, Washington. He is founder and director of a non-profit public interest law firm. For more than three decades he has been involved in drafting proposed laws and counseling elected officials in ways to remove burdensome and unnecessary rules and regulations.

See a complete biographical sketch.

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