What is the “welfare cliff?” Why is it important?
By Ron Paul
The drama over Greece’s financial crisis continues to dominate the headlines. As this column is being written, a deal may have been reached providing Greece with yet another bailout if the Greek government adopts new “austerity” measures. The deal will allow all sides to brag about how they came together to save the Greek economy and the European Monetary Union. However, this deal is merely a Band-Aid, not a permanent fix to Greece’s problems. So another crisis is inevitable.
The Greek crisis provides a look into what awaits us unless we stop overspending on warfare and welfare and restore a sound monetary system. While most commentators have focused on Greece’s welfare state, much of Greece’s deficit was caused by excessive military spending. Even as its economy collapses and the government makes (minor) cuts in welfare spending, Greece’s military budget remains among the largest in the European Union.
Despite all the handwringing over how the phony sequestration cuts have weakened America’s defenses, the United States military budget remains larger than the combined budgets of the world’s next 15 highest spending militaries. Little, if any, of the military budget is spent defending the American people from foreign threats. Instead, the American government wastes billions of dollars on an imperial foreign policy that makes Americans less safe. America will never get its fiscal house in order until we change our foreign policy and stop wasting trillions on unnecessary and unconstitutional wars.
I have long been a fan of Professor Williams. His arguments are compelling. He is an enemy of crony capitalism and friend of liberty. If you don’t know him I highly encourage you to read his work.
The attached interview is a very worthwhile listen.
With regard to government there is no issue with revenue, except that the collectors take too much of it. We are taxed far far beyond what is reasonable. The only people who likely think that we are not are either those who are not taxed (for the most part), those for whom taxation has little impact on their lifestyle, or those for whom taxes are a circular flow – government employees.
How much better would your life be if you could keep the money which goes for just your income tax? Assuming a defense, a court system, a system of law enforcement, and maybe a patent system are funded, how much better would our lives be without the crushing weight of everything else the government does? Seriously, your family’s life would likely be much BETTER.
For the most part your taxes go to support corporate welfare and a government dependent class (government workers, contractors, welfare). Why shouldn’t that money instead go to investment and retirement accounts and paying for the kid’s college and building businesses?
Why? Because there are powerful people who get rich off of the taxes taken from your family. It is nearly as simple as that.
When the president says that he wants the government to pay for everyone to go to 2 years of community college what he is really saying is that he wants you to pay for everyone to go to community college. There is no “free” college. There is no “free” anything. Everything has a cost and I have to pay for college for 3 kids of my own in the not so distant future already. I don’t need yet another bill just because the president wants to throw some gifts to folks who voted for him.
By Ron Paul
The political class breathed a sigh of relief Saturday when the US Senate averted a government shutdown by passing the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill. This year’s omnibus resembles omnibuses of Christmas past in that it was drafted in secret, was full of special interest deals and disguised spending increases, and was voted on before most members could read it.
The debate over the omnibus may have made for entertaining political theater, but the outcome was never in doubt. Most House and Senate members are so terrified of another government shutdown that they would rather vote for a 1,774-page bill they have not read than risk even a one or two-day government shutdown.
Those who voted for the omnibus to avoid a shutdown fail to grasp that the consequences of blindly expanding government are far worse than the consequences of a temporary government shutdown. A short or even long-term government shutdown is a small price to pay to avoid an economic calamity caused by Congress’ failure to reduce spending and debt.
When I was in college one of the first op-eds I ever wrote was on Social Security in the college newspaper. I argued that with the the baby boom generation getting ready to retire (this was the late 1990s) we college students (of a smaller generation) faced a real problem. There were going to be an awful lot of retirees out there counting on Social Security with fewer people actively contributing to the general economy. (And to Social Security.)
The argument I made was of course not solely my own. Many people had made the argument before me and many people have since. I said that we needed to radically reform Social Security and phase it out over a few years.
Sweden, as the attached video explains is like a club or a small town. Everyone speaks the same language (which is only spoken in Sweden). People share the same religion. They share, for the most part the same ethnicity. So the Swedish welfare state model is a cozy one without much of the pluralistic strife endemic to the United States or for that matter other countries like India or Brazil.
Everyone knows your name in Sweden, and that name is Sven.
For a large swathe of the middle of the country the recession lingers on big time. But a couple of other things to consider as we look at these numbers is the degree to which food stamps have become deeply ingrained in the very culture of some areas, and also the degree to which a low cost of living in some parts means that a larger portion of the population qualifies for such assistance. The two factors probably compound each other. Then a poor economy just amplifies the dependence even more.
I can’t argue with Will on this. We should be ashamed of ourselves. We have allowed profligate spending. We borrow to pay our current bills. We elect people who year after year expand government and who pass laws which reduce our liberty and fundamentally our very humanity. It is we who have allowed this to happen.
On illegal immigration I am of mixed opinion. On the one hand I believe that someone who is willing to work hard and to contribute to society and the economy, who is looking to make a better life for him or herself and his or her family is someone we should welcome to our country. We should respect the pursuit of happiness.
On the other hand we should also respect the rule of law, and for good or ill, we have immigration laws in this country.
Fifty years after President Johnson launched his “war on poverty,” it is time to stop pretending and start doing something real for the poor.
$100K is a good bit of taxpayer scratch.