Posts Tagged 'Ronald Reagan'

Government Bailout Comes With High Price Tag

Government Bailout Comes With High Price Tag

The Radionian
by Ashton Pittman, Opinions Staff
March 2009, Volume 85, No. 5

During an economic address at George Mason University, President Barack Obama recently claimed that government is our only hope to save us from the current economic crisis. He has clearly demonstrated this belief through his support of congressional Democrats’ $800-billion spending bill. While Democrats in Congress claim that this so-called “stimulus package” is intended to rescue the ailing economy, there is very little to evidence this claim within the bill itself.

How does giving Hollywood film producers $246 million in tax cuts help the the struggling farmer in Iowa to afford clothing for his family? How does spending $248 million dollars to update government office furniture help to ensure that a hardworking family in Mississippi will not lose their home? And while many in Congress feel it is their divine duty to save the world from the dangers of incandescent light bulbs, it is a stretch to make the case that spending $6 billion to turn federal buildings “green” will somehow create jobs for the unemployed in California. These are just a few examples of the many excessive spending projects included in the bill.

The inclusion of such absurdities is not quite so puzzling, however, when put into the context of its authors and their agendas. While there are undoubtedly some who support the package out of fear of being seen as “doing nothing,” the goals of people such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are quite different; they seek to use this bill  to promote nationalized industry and create an economy at the mercy of its messianic government.

They are using this bill as a stepping stone towards their ideal nation. In their America, the people will be at the mercy of elected officials, not elected officials at the mercy of the people; the people will be in the hands of government, and not government in the hands of the people.

We cannot afford to place our lives in the hands of government; we must not ask what our country can do for us, but we should ask what we must do for ourselves. The true root of our economic woes comes from a widespread lack of individual fiscal discipline and a reliance on government to bail us out of ever having to take responsibility for our own mistakes (all the while endowing our even less responsible government with more power). As Ronald Reagan once said, “I don’t believe in a government that protects us from ourselves.”

Not only does this spending bill promise to save us from our self-inflicted economic woes, but it promises an expansion of governments’ role in our everyday lives. However, as government expands, freedom contracts. The more power we give to the government, the less power we have to freely choose the course of our own lives.

No president understood this better than our 40th president, Ronald Reagan. In his 1981 inaugural address, he addressed the recession that he was inheriting form Jimmy Carter:

“From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to the government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden.”

Recently, Obama said, “At this particular moment . . . the federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back to life.  It is only government that can break the vicious cycle.”  Reagan took a very different approach, when he poignantly said “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

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