25 January 2009

A Letter Against the Stimulus Trillion

The following is an email I sent to my elected representatives in Washington regarding the "stimulus" spending spree.

As the Congress makes its way through constructing an economic "stimulus" bill, I would like to voice my disapproval of extending and expanding the spending begun under the Bush administration. As we close out the month of January, there are apparently many unanswered questions as to where TARP funds are and what they are being used for. That's somewhere around $350 billion dollars - and rising - in lost tax-payer dollars. Or rather borrowed dollars which tax-payers will have to repay at some point. Soon, we can expect another $350 billion in TARP funds to go down the memory hole. And we stand on the verge of dumping close to (or more than) $1 trillion on "stimulus".

As a relatively young American (37 years old), I already understand that Social Security will be bled dry long before I reach retirement age. I also understand that Medicare will also not be around by the time I get to the age where it may be available to me. Both programs, I feel, will render themselves bankrupt. And while I believe they will have a detrimental effect on the country as a whole, there is still time to lessen their effects. There is time to deal with the all-too-clear consequences of over-promised benefits.

Therefore, it bears considering if the massive spending which Congress and the new President have claimed is essential to our economic survival will really and truly have the needed effect, or if it is a $1 trillion pork barrel designed to make the populace more dependent on government largesse. While it may be a cynical way to view the latest GAO report on the timing of overall "stimulus" spending, the GAO report clearly shows that the "stimulus" money will still be driving pork-dollars into the next presidential election cycle. Thus, the "stimulus" spending is in reality a government IV-drip of borrowed spending on pork projects and bailouts designed to keep those currently in power firmly in place.

That this latest government intrusion on tax-payer dollars - future tax-payer dollars, in this case - follows on the heels of what some regard as the nationalization of the banking industry is worrying to those who believe that, as President Reagan so aptly put it, "government is the problem." President Obama, in his inaugural address, claimed that the question is not about big government or small government, but rather about working government. But the only thing that government seems to be able to do well is to get bigger and more intrusive; the only thing that power-holders seem to do well is to solidify their own places in power, regardless of the fiscal cost to those they represent.

In preparing for the new administration - regardless of who won the presidential election in November - I began to read F.A. Hayek's The Road to Serfdom. The socialistic path down which our country is headed is unmistakable. It runs across both political parties; President Bush's "compassionate conservatism" and bank bailouts has prepared the way for President Obama's Left agenda. It appears to me that both sides - Republican and Democrat - have capitulated to the idea that only the government can "fix" things.

But it is precisely for this reason that I urge you, my elected representative, to fight for limiting government, lowering tax rates as much as possible, and stripping the federal government of extraneous and harmful appendages of domestic influence (which it has no business in anyway, as they interfere with things which belong to the realm of the various states).

Thank you for your time, attention, and service.

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