To my kids
Let me start off by apologizing. I apologize that as of right now in this first quarter of 2011, each one of you, from the 20 year old to the 6 year old is already $45,000 in debt. I know that amount means in effect, the first 5-8 years of your working careers will be spent to pay off this debt incurred through no fault of your own. And, if these halcyon days of profligate spending are not curtailed, the burden placed on you will be even greater and you may never get free of it.
Somehow, we lost sight of the future in our mad dash to remake the present into something more palatable for our tired, weary eyes. We allowed those whom we elected to office to run amok, unchecked and unchallenged for far too long. We, through inaction, inattention and inherent trust in our elected representatives permitted them unrestricted access to our property, your livelihoods, and your freedoms. They have rewarded us for our lack of oversight by sacrificing your futures on the altar of social justice–equality of outcomes, regardless of personal talent, ambition or work ethic.
A warning: social justice is not justice–respect for the rule of laws and is wholly incompatible with liberty. You, unlike us, must never forget this. Equality of outcomes can never be achieved in perpetuation by legislation or government fiat. People all have varying levels of talent, determination, knowledge, even luck. Do these always pay off as they should? No. Sorry.
Allow me to provide an illustration or two. Your class has a test scheduled that you choose not to study for. The person sitting next to you spent the night before studying, preparing. At the end of the test, you have answered less than half of the questions, most likely providing several wrong answers. Your classmate answered all of the questions, possibly missing a few. Who gets the better grade? Under an equality of outcome scenario, the grades don’t matter. You are both rewarded, simply because you were present to participate.
Lest you think the above little sidebar is an excuse to skip studying for future tests, let me remind you that in our household, as I believe it should be in life, choices bear consequences both good and bad. I’m certain that most of your teachers feel the same way.
One other example. In 2009, the House of mis-Representatives passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known most notably as ObamaCare. The passage of this bill was a complete rape of the U.S. Constitution. The majority of Americans did not and still do not want this bill passed. A major portion of the bill requires the purchase of health insurance, a mandate not authorized by the Constitution to any of the branches of our government. When asked about the Constitutional authority of the government to impose such a mandate, then Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi responded to the inquiry with “Are you serious? Are you serious?” Justification through arrogance and intimidation. Thug politics at its best.
This bill, if allowed to stand, is another attempt at legislating equality of outcomes. The government bureaucracy, rather than you and your doctor, will decide what care options are best for you. This is only the first step. With the government in the health care business, the intrusiveness will not stop. Every aspect of your life, from what you choose to eat, to what you choose to drive could come under the scrutiny of “public health” interests, and thus further regulation and control. There is much more in this bill and its subsequent beginnings of implementation that bode dire consequences if it is not repealed or declared unconstitutional, but all of that is for another discussion.
In addition to our blind approach to the future, we have also lost sight of the past. We have forgotten that our Constitution sets forth the total extent of powers attributed to each branch of the Federal Government, and that it explicitly confers everything else to the people and the states. The Constitution weighs in heavily on the side of personal governance and the responsibilities that that entails. We have allowed the Federal Government to become leviathan. George Washington said “Government is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” We are witnessing the truth of this statement now because we failed to heed the warnings and for that I apologize as well.
Our current president has no respect for the rule of law. When informed that his ban on oil drilling had no legal grounds to be continued and that said drilling should therefore be allowed to resume, our president ignored the ruling, forcing the judge to issue a “Contempt of Court” against the administration. When another judge declared the mandatory insurance provision unconstitutional, our president ignored him as well. He is on the record as stating “I don’t think the American people want us to waste our time re-legislating something that we have already legislated.” And “I will not compromise on anything that puts the future health care of 30,000,000 people that until recently could not afford health care in jeopardy.”
In other words, “I’m right. The laws don’t matter.”
Allow me another sidebar if you will. Those 30,000,000 people that couldn’t afford health care before still cannot afford health care. But they will have access to it because it will be paid for by others through higher taxes, insurance premiums, and fines for failure to participate.
Again, I apologize for the state of affairs we’ve left this country in for you. We had hoped for better, but hope it seems, is not enough. It requires active participation in the government of this country. It requires voting out the crooks and the elites and the political class and the power hungry individuals and replacing them with citizen representatives who still remember all three portions of government in this country: “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” All too often, our elected officials are more concerned with “of the people” than with the rest of it.