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November 9, 2012

Keynesian redux?

Joe Charlebois

Four years ago I wrote about Barack Obama’s historic election when he addressed the students at George Mason University. What was written four years ago is even more true today as cries for bi-partisanship – read: “move my way or else,” – are an escalating movement toward a fiscal cliff and complete destruction of our republic.


In part I wrote:


“Mr. Mason was an anti-Federalist, which means that he, along with fellow patriots, felt that the Constitution without a bill of rights would not provide protection from a strong centralized government."


“He fought for and won the addition of 10 of his 12 proposals. His concerns for individual liberties made him one of the most important figures in early America.


“Of the first 10 amendments, Mr. Mason wanted to assure that this bold new country would be free of governmental oppression. His legacy to us is listed in the following way.


“A citizen of the United States is free to speak out politically. He is free to worship at a place of his choosing. He can write without government censorship. He can bear arms. A citizen is protected from unwarranted searches. He cannot be incarcerated without cause, deprived of property or life without the due process of law. He cannot be held indefinitely in the case of criminal proceedings. A citizen cannot be subject to cruel or unusual punishment.”


In just the past four years we have seen the government arrest a man for producing a despicable film about Islam. We are seeing religious institutions forced into situations that go directly against their beliefs; we are seeing American citizens as the target of drone strikes without trial and we are seeing the unelected regulators at the Environmental Protection Agency confiscate an ever increasing amount of property without cause.


“The Tenth Amendment – more than being specific to the individual right – is rather a broader attempt to curb the centralization of power within the federal government. It reads:


“Amendment X


“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.


“What is ironic about this statement is that it largely does not exist in the modern day United States.”


Four years ago then President-elect Barack Obama, in his speech at George Mason, said that he believed that only through a strong centralized government can the problems of society be solved.


His philosophy then, as it is today, is a failed Keynesian approach of government investment in the economy. He said then:


"It is true that we cannot depend on government alone to create jobs or long-term growth, but at this particular moment, only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe. Only government can break the vicious cycles that are crippling our economy – where a lack of spending leads to lost jobs which leads to less spending; where an inability to lend and borrow stops growth and leads to even less credit."


Currently our economy is stagnant. It is not producing a large enough expansion in economic growth to sustain the millions of Americans who are looking to get back to work.


“What made America the most prosperous country in the world in such a short amount of time wasn't the government controlling an ever increasing ratio of the economy; rather it was the fact that our Founders recognized that, through freedom, a capitalistic economy would allow for men of industry to succeed no matter their station in life.”


This January as the control of the House of Representatives stays in the control of the Republicans and the Senate and White House remain firmly in Democrat hands, bipartisanship will be needed to pass any measure.


Let’s hope for the sake of our country, on matters of fiscal discipline, it is the White House and Senate that bend. Our country cannot continue the slide toward insolvency.


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