Is there any way to save America from its headlong plunge into disaster? Yes, but does our nation have the backbone to make the difficult decisions necessary?
Is the responsibility that of individual Americans – such as you and me? Or should we trust in Congress to act?"
"Let’s assume that each of our 535 congressmen cares about the destructive impact of deficits and debt on the future of our country," writes author Walter E. Williams. "Regardless of party, congressmen face enormous lobbying pressures and awards to spend more and little or no pressure and awards to spend less."
But regardless of backbone, there is the endless debate of which course to take.
"The greatest danger to our wealth, our liberties, our values, and our safety today come from the deconstruction of truth," writes columnist Bruce Walker. In other words, too many conflicting views are demanding to be recognized as "truth" and the American people are baffled as to which course to take.
And at the root of that problem is America’s denial that God is this nation’s only hope.
"I just watched an important video," writes political strategist Frank Salvato. "It was a United News newsreel from December 2, 1945, and captured the official Japanese surrender proceedings aboard the USS Missouri."
Those were the ceremonies in Tokyo harbor that brought World War II to an end. As Japan’s unconditional surrender was accepted, General Douglas MacArthur proclaimed:
"Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it, always."
No American leader dares to invoke the name of the Almighty these days. President Obama enjoys announcing that America is no longer a Christian nation.
"The nation’s founders would be horrified by today’s congressional spending that consumes 25 percent of our Gross Domestic Product. Contrast that to the years 1787 to the 1920s when federal government spending never exceeded 4 percent of our GDP except in wartime.
"Today, the federal, state and local government consumes 43 percent of what Americans produce each year. The Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation computes that the average taxpayer is forced to work from Jan. 1 to mid-April to pay federal, state and local taxes."
But tax revenue is not the problem, writes Williams
"The federal government has collected just about 20 percent of the nation’s GDP almost every year since 1960. Federal spending has exceeded revenue for most of that period and has taken an unprecedented leap since 2008 to produce today’s massive deficit. Since federal spending is the problem, that’s where our focus should be. Cutting spending is politically challenging. Every spending constituency sees its handout as vital, whether it’s Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid recipients or farmers, poor people, educators or the military. It’s easy for congressmen to say yes to these spending constituencies because whether it’s Democrats or Republicans in control, they face no hard and fast bottom line."
It’s as if there is an endless supply of money and Congress generously just keeps giving it away. However, the funds are not limitless.
"In these dark days for our country," writes Salvato, "days in which politicians continue expanding the debt on the backs of our children, in which the strength of America overseas has been diminished through the appearance of weakness, and in which Progressives try to fundamentally transform the United States of America, there is hope, real hope, not the fake, manufactured, media-hyped hope that the American voter was sold in 2008."
The hope is that Americans are waking up, he writes.
"The re-awakening has allowed the American people to reestablish their connection to the fact and the importance of the fact that our government was created by the people, for the people and subject to the consent of the governed.
"This, in turn has allowed us to clearly see that most multi-term politicians in Washington and in the many state houses have elevated themselves into a class of elected elitists, in their eyes, much more qualified to decide what will and will not be good for the people.
"The American people have re-awakened from a 50-year slumber of apathy and ignorance to find that most multi-term politicians are actually political opportunists more concerned with the politics of getting re-elected than in performing good government for their constituents.
"In an honest quest to get back to good, our country is going to have to take some tough medicine and endure some cultural clashes," says Salvato. "Think of it as political chemotherapy. As part of this political chemotherapy a few things, among many others, must be accomplished."
He says the road back will be difficult. He says that we must take back our schools, limit the influence of labor unions, re-examine the federal government’s use of the commerce clause, limit the government’s spending and proclaim a moratorium on entitlements,
"Our schools have turned from places where children are
taught critical thinking skills – skills that allow them to intelligently engage
in life, into ideological indoctrination mills, churning out political
operatives who can better put a condom on a cucumber or spew false information
about non-existent man-made global warming than solve complex mathematical
equations or write an
accurately structured sentence. The attention span of the average child pales in comparison to a child of just fifty years ago. And while the technical knowledge of our children today may be far more advance than that of their parents, they have no meaningful education in US History or the philosophies that moved our Founders and Framers to risk life and limb to create our great nation."
The blame is two-fold, says Salvato
"First, we, the citizens, have to take a great share of the responsibility for this predicament.
We have become far too busy with our own individual lives to be engaged in our children’s education. Its more important to get to that coffee shop, to watch that television show, to engage in that sporting activity than it is to attend a school board meeting or be active in the PTA.
"Fortunately, this can be rectified and it must be rectified. We must run for local school boards and get on the curriculum committees so that we can have a definitive say in what our children learn in the classroom. By taking back the curriculums in schools we can at least give our children a fighting chance.
"Second, we must apply pressure to elected officials to enact legislation that would limit the influence of teachers unions where curriculum is concerned. Teachers unions have morphed from organizations meant to negotiate contracts for its membership to organizations shopping an ideology for the classroom.
"Decisions on curriculum must be held at the local levels, if just as a safety precaution against ideological indoctrination.
We must limit the influence of labor unions
"There was a legitimate need for labor unions after the turn of the 20th Century," writes Salvato. "Some unscrupulous employers took great advantage of the work force providing less than safe working conditions, demanding long hours and issuing degrading compensation. But that was then ... this is now.
"Over the years, laws have been instituted that address each and every issue that labor unions were created to champion, thus removing any real reason for labor unions to exist at all. In fact, it can be successfully argued that in the last 50 years labor unions have done more to hurt the worker and business in the United States than they have helped.
"Aggressive labor union demands have turned Detroit into a ghost town. They have forced many corporations to outsource manufacturing jobs, turning our country into a service oriented and consumer economy from a production-based economy.
"Alarmingly," writes Salvato, "our country’s manufacturing base is an emaciated shadow of what it once was and because of that there are no jobs for the unemployed. Yet labor unions want more in wages for their members, more perks and more influence. Labor unions must be limited in mission to negotiating reasonable contracts for their members, if not completely abolished.
We must re-examine the Commerce Clause
"For years the federal government has abused the Commerce Clause in order to expand its reach of authority over the States," The Commerce Clause, Article 1 Section 8, Clause 3 of the US Constitution, reads, ‘The Congress shall have Power to ... regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes...’"
However, that has been abused, says Salvato.
"Since the American industrial revolution," writes Salvato, "Congress has pushed the limits of the Commerce Clause to the point of usurping the Tenth Amendment. It states, ‘The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.’
"The stranglehold Congress has granted itself with the help of several Supreme Court decisions has served to create a master for the 50 States, which, in the original intent of the founders and framers, were all to be sovereign states."
We must limit the government’s ability to spend
"Both the Legislative and the Executive Branches have proven they cannot be trusted with spending within their allotted means. Put succinctly, Congress is populated with spendthrifts; people who spend money recklessly, extravagantly and who use taxpayer monies to affect their re-election. Congress has learned to raid the treasury for their own purposes and they are spending us into insolvency.
"Congress as well as the Executive Branch must be forced to abide by a prioritized and limited budget, starting with the responsibilities actually outlined in the Constitution: funding the courts and providing for national security, to name but two.
"Only when there is money remaining in that limited budget, after the constitutionally mandated responsibilities have been fully funded, should they be allowed to spend and then only when absolutely needed.
"Further, congressional power to borrow should be directly linked to the exact amount it has accrued in reserve capital that has been established in a separate and exclusive holding account, never ever to be accessed but for time of war."
And we must halt entitlements
"In a paper titled The Challenge of Giant Entitlements, written in April of 2008, Congressman Randy Forbes (R-Virginia) states, ‘Entitlement spending, or government spending that takes place automatically every year without any action from Congress, is currently 62 percent of our overall federal spending.’
"The numbers speak for themselves. Our nation, with the debt that it has amassed, cannot afford even one more entitlement program – not healthcare or anything else.
"To continue to call for entitlement programs or to continue to work toward establishing entitlement programs is not only irresponsible, it is a direct threat to the continuation of our country.
Roger Pilon, director of Cato’s Center for Constitutional Studies, agrees. He aptly sums up the problem: "Over the 20th century, the federal government has assumed a vast and unprecedented set of powers. Most of what the federal government does today – to put the point as plainly and candidly as possible – is illegitimate because it is done without explicit constitutional authority.
We face an uphill battle, writes author Dr. Michael S. Coffman.
Conservatives will be blamed for everything
"Over the next two years the elite will use the progressive media to systematically blame the Republicans for the inevitable Congressional deadlock and increasing economic hardships that the American people will be facing.
"Most candidates in the midterm election won on an anti-Obamacare, anti-spending platform. Time will tell whether a growing number of conservative Democrats continue to side with constitutional principles," writes Coffman.
"Repeal of Obamacare and cutting spending are good starts, but they are far from the solution. The reelection of radical progressives like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barney Frank clearly show the American people still don’t understand we are literally at war with an ideology that will lead us into socialism at best or communism/fascism at worst.
"Nor do they realize that the progressives are mere tools of the global elite who are attempting to create a world government with them in control. The agenda must be exposed. As long as the cancer of progressivism still permeates local, state and federal governments, the threat to America remains very high."
Is the ultimate goal to bankrupt America? To bring the world’s sole superpower to its knees? Perhaps, worries author and columnist Alan Caruba.
"Nothing coming out of the leadership in the White House or Congress makes a grain of sense. It is calculated to making the public so hopeless."
Caruba finds himself reviewing Rules for Radicals, a book by Communist leader Saul Alinsky and worrying that Obama’s "entire approach to politics is based on his book."
After all Obama once said of the book, "It was that education that was seared into my brain. It was the best education I ever had, better than anything I got at Harvard."
"Alinsky taught that Americans must be overwhelmed with a never-ending barrage of crisis, emergencies, and unworkable ‘solutions’ that exacerbate problems," writes Caruba. "This is why Rahm Emanuel, the President’s Chief of Staff, famously said that a crisis should never be wasted."
"Alinsky also preached the importance of intimidation and of ridicule to achieve one’s goals. The public," writes Caruba, "can be forgiven for not knowing that Alinsky’s book is dedicated to ‘the very first radical,’ none other than ‘Lucifer.’ Now perhaps you can understand.
The hopelessness many Americans feel has been created intentionally, says Caruba. Indeed, a quick reading of some of Obama’s heroes is cause for concern:
"By a continuous process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens," wrote John Maynard Keynes in his 1920 classic Economic Consequences of the Peace. "While the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The process engages all of the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner that not one man in a million can diagnose."
"I have always harbored an exaggerated view of my self-importance. To put it bluntly, I fancied myself as some kind of god or an economic reformer like Keynes," wrote Obama backer George Soros in his 1987 book The Alchemy of Finance.
So, what is going to save America?
Turning back to the God of our fathers, writes author and New York City preacher David Wilkerson.
"I believe God’s merciful love is revealed in response to a cry from the heart – not just any cry, but a humble cry for deliverance. The Bible has much to say about this cry from the heart. ‘In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God; he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears’ (Psalm 18:6).
"‘Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity. Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry’ (Psalm 106:43-44).
"You can be sure that a cry to God will always be answered by a healing word from heaven!" writes Wilkerson. "No one is too wicked or too hopeless if he reaches out to God in humility.
"The story of the wicked King Manasseh proves it!
"The Bible says he was one of the most wicked kings of Israel. ‘And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord… For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he raised up altars for Baal…and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards; he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the Lord’ (2 Kings 21:2-6).
"‘So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen.… And the Lord spake to Manasseh, and to his people; but they would not hearken’ (2 Chronicles 33:9-10)."
So, is there hope for America?
Of course, writes Wilkerson.
"Is there hope for someone who gets so far from God, so possessed by evil and darkness? Yes, if he will humble himself, and confess and believe Christ’s victory at the cross. Manasseh ended up a prisoner in a foreign nation, bound with chains. What a vivid picture of the wages of sin. But in his affliction, he cried out and God heard him, forgave him, and restored him.
"‘And when he was in affliction, he besought the Lord and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed unto him; and he was entreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God’ (2 Chronicles 33:12-13).
"‘And he took away the strange gods, and the idol out of the house of the Lord, and all the altars ... and cast them out of the city’ (v. 15)."
The hope for America is for this land to return to the God of our fathers. And that can come only on an individual basis, notes Wilkerson.
"The word of hope, forgiveness, mercy, love and restoration is for you! Heed his Word, repent, and then be made whole and walk with the Lord!
"There is no sin that can’t be forgiven – no one is too far down to be healed and restored."
Nor is any nation.