America is being run by junkies and just like a junkie's personality is no longer recognizable to their family and friends, we are unrecognizable to our forefathers. Our addiction is government - big government, more government, government as God, massive spending and entitlements, programs out the wazoo, an agency for every day of the year, a bureaucrat for every minute of our lives and then some.
We are no longer a nation of self-reliant men and independent women yearning for freedom from an intrusive state. What we are, like all junkies, is myopic and self-centered, more interested in our next fix than the nourishing values we were brought up on and built this country into something great.
Sadly, President Obama's latest budget does nothing to curb our appetite for destruction (with apologies to Guns n Roses). While some on the Left will spin it as a step toward recovery, a "spending freeze" after greatly expanding the size and role of government over the past two years (including an 84% increase in discretionary spending) falls dramatically short of a reliable 12 step program. This is like a heroin addict saying, "I won't cut back on my habit, but how about I promise not to be more strung out than last year?" (again, apologies to Guns n Roses).
Looking down the road, the fiscal path Obama has laid out for America becomes even more disheartening. By 2021, government spending is projected to be a whopping six trillion dollars with deficits still hovering around one trillion. To put that in perspective, the entire fiscal budget was less than two trillion as recently as 2002 and the deficit as low as $200 billion as recently as 2007 (you know, during those irresponsible Bush years).
Obama's threats to veto GOP budget cuts after two years of massively expanding government and super-sizing bureaucracy prove he's the last advocate for restraint. And he's unwilling to even mention entitlement reforms. If the Republican plan can be described as budgetary rehab, what the president proposes is no better than free needles for addicts.
While not all of the debt is President Obama's fault, he has exasperated what was once a manageable crisis, doubling down on bad fiscal policy. What we are left with is a crippling disease in terms of economic growth. Without massive reforms to shore up America's finances, even under the president's rosiest scenario the national debt will increase from $14 trillion to $25 trillion in 10 years. Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will swallow up huge chunks of discretionary spending. The economy will flat line, our nation's line of defense will crumble, and all we'll have to show for it are brand new choo choos that go an average speed of 80 mph and make putting a man on the moon look like cost-efficient transportation by comparison.
The last time the federal government actually spent less money than the year before was, well... nevermind, because it hasn't happened in our lifetimes. We have been conditioned to accept the endless march of big government as the norm, something unfathomable to our founding fathers. As John Adams once warned us, "There are two ways to enslave a country. One is by sword, the other is by debt."
Our future does not look promising. In the last four years, the federal budget has doubled and the deficit has quadrupled. These are record low points for our nation's fiscal health. We are obese, at least as far as governments are concerned, and this alone should concern the First Lady if not the president. Let's move! If we are going to fight obesity, shouldn't we start with those unnecessary pounds of bureaucracy? To quote the concerned mom in one of those Lifetime movies (or perhaps my high school guidance counselor), "Can't you see you're ruining your future?!"
It's hard to convince a junkie. If a sea change election won't cut it, Republicans should hold their ground in the face of a temporary government shutdown. It's time for an intervention.