Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fiscal Cliff?! We could save America this afternoon - if we wanted to

Today I wrote in my national column that really, when you think about it, nothing is stopping anyone from averting the fiscal cliff. There are free market solutions that don't involve forcing people to pay more taxes or slashing so-called "essential" programs (that is, assuming they are so critical that they're actually worth paying for with private money). I wrote:

(Photo by U.S. Treasury)

Peter Schiff once famously said that “Washington is full of one-trick ponies, and the only trick these guys know is how to spend our money.” Today as the political-media complex builds the fear and counts the days to the pending fiscal cliff, we are led to believe that the only cure to this crisis is a big government solution that involves some combination of higher taxes and more spending to prevent the economy (and our way of life) from being destroyed. But why does government intervention always have to be the only solution people can come up with?

In the free market, when investors recognize the value of something, they take ownership of it and responsibility for it. When times are hard and a company that produces a valuable product or service starts to fail, it isn’t uncommon for investors to step up and bail the company out with their own money because they see the value in saving it.

In a socialist society, when government or a majority faction wants something, conflict is used to take it. Under socialism, people look for conflicts to exploit and groups to demonize as a pretext for giving government more power to control things. It is therefore no accident that today the political-media complex constantly pits rich against poor, old against young, men against women, straight against gay, employed against unemployed and so forth: conflict is essential to justifying confiscation of private property.

Today, we see the evil socialist streak in both major U.S. parties. One party tells its members,“Unless we do something about the fiscal cliff, businesses will belly up across the country and Wall Street will crash!” Another party’s representatives say “Unless we raise taxes now to avert the fiscal cliff, old people will not be able to get access to medication and the vulnerable will be even more vulnerable!” The entire country is presently wrapped up in fear of what will happen next and common sense is daily being thrown out the window in the name of stopping some existential threat.

In a free market, investors take an active role in personally preserving the things that are essential to their future. Private investors make themselves responsible for their own success. Like the Gospel parable of the Matthew 13:44 investor who purchased an entire field just to have rights to the treasure that was on it, so a discerning and wise investor puts his own money to worthy causes.

So let’s look at the United States of America. Since the early 1960s, America’s currency has been in decline and her debts have been on the rise. Congress over the years has manipulated taxes here and there, the Federal Reserve has tweaked interest rates up and down, America has had occasional moments of boom and bust, but all things taken into consideration, America is poorer and more lacking in value now than she has ever been before.

Let’s say for the sake of argument that if no resolution is made on the fiscal cliff, the market will tank and businesses all across the country will go belly up and people will lose their jobs, en masse. Rather than taking the position of a socialist and looking for who we should send the government to shake down for some change, why not approach this from an investor’s perspective: if saving America is so important to business, then maybe America’s top businesses ought to invest in saving the U.S. Government and sending checks to Washington to pay down the debt and finance essential government operations – especially the companies that received bailouts from the U.S. Government in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Everyone wants to tax the so-called “very wealthy” – so why don’t the billionaires who advocate raising taxes simply invest in the U.S. Government and make princely donations towards financing Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, Defense, energy subsidies and so forth? Imagine what would happen if today every single American company donated freely – without compulsion – millions or billions of dollars towards saving their own country or forgave debts? After all, aren’t these the same individuals who say cutting these “essential” government programs would result in disaster? If keeping these programs are so important, then maybe it’s time private investors paid to keep them.

John F. Kennedy said “our problems are man-made, therefore they can be solved by man.” Imagine what we could do if America cared enough about America to take private and personal responsibility for investing in its future without forcing others to pick up the tab.

James Madison said “In Government, the real power lies in the majority of the Community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from the acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of constituents.” Let us not use the institution of democracy for theft any longer. We don’t have to choose between a Republican vision or a Democratic vision to save America. It’s time for a new vision, one that involves Americans saving America.

Fiscal cliff? No problem. We could save America this afternoon – if we really wanted to. Private investment, volunteerism and charity is what built civilization and if given a chance, will save and rebuild our United States of America.

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