Reality is something we have to internalize by relying on history, research, personal observation and the wisdom of others. The reality is, this country is experiencing unprecedented accelerated societal and governmental change. There is great wisdom in this famous quote by Ayn Rand: “You can ignore reality, but you cannot ignore the consequences of reality.”
Many Americans are looking at today’s too-far-left Democratic party and see us moving toward a socialist state. I do not necessarily believe the Biden administration set out to create a socialist America, but having said that, we should look at the current direction of the U.S. and ask, what are the potential consequences of today’s reality?
Since March 2020, we have passed four spending bills that cost over $9 trillion and added over $5 trillion dollars to our national debt. What are the consequences? Let’s pull that thread.
Massive spending will continue to increase the size of an already massive federal government bureaucracy. Much of the new spending is for new entitlements that could continue to grow with ever-increasing funding.
Entitlements lead to unprecedented government control over the daily lives of every American, cradle to grave. With size and control come government regulations and the resulting negative impact on entrepreneurial spirit and economic growth.
Massive federal regulation and control leads to reduced states’ rights. Our Constitution tells us that “governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Today’s massive federal government spending and control are certainly not based on “consent of the governed,” but we the people are on the hook to pay for every cent of it.
Furthermore, increased tax burdens are the consequences of massive government spending. Corporate taxes, wealth taxes, death taxes, increased individual income taxes, taxes on capital gains and perhaps taxes on unrealized capital gains — the consequences of massive tax increases are reduced capital investment (the life-blood of capitalism), disincentivization to expand and grow, reduced entrepreneurial spirit and the rich moving their wealth out of the country.
Then there’s debt. After a decade-plus of deficit spending, our debt to Gross Domestic Product ratio is about 127 percent. A 2013 study by the World Bank found that if the debt-to-GDP ratio exceeds 77 percent, it slows economic growth.
Massive spending also leads us to artificially increasing the nation’s money supply, aka “printing money.” Large increases in the money supply lead to inflation.
What has happened in just the past 10 months has caused alarm bells to ring. Optimism is waning. Our feel-good spirit is being crushed. Is the American dream no longer a possibility?
Surely socialism cannot happen to America. But what if we cannot stop printing money? What if we cannot control inflation? What if we do nothing about deficit spending and national debt ($28 trillion now) that is increasing at a rate of $45.50 per second?
What if interest rates go to 6 percent and the interest on our debt consumes the budget? What if Social Security goes broke (currently scheduled to be insolvent by 2033)? What if Medicare goes broke (currently scheduled to be insolvent by 2026)?
What happens to those who have become government-dependent? What if the wealthy find a way to hide their wealth or find a new place to live? What if our borders remain unsecure and the world’s masses become ours to feed, cloth, house, educate and care for? What if Medicare-for-all becomes reality with an estimated yearly cost of $3.2 trillion?
Is government policy and societal shifts moving us toward socialism? Take a look at the “Eight Steps to Socialism,” commonly attributed to Saul Alinsky, a political activist, 1909-1972.
n Health care: control healthcare and you control the people.
n Poverty: increase the poverty level as high as possible. Poor people are easier to control if you are providing everything for them to live.
n Debt: increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
n Gun Control: remove the ability to defend oneself from the government. That way you are able to create a police state.
n Welfare: take control of every aspect of their lives (food, housing, and income.)
n Education: take control of what people read and listen to; take control of what children learn in school.
n Religion: remove the belief in God from the government and schools.
n Class Warfare: divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to tax the wealthy with the support of the poor.”
Does any of this sound like what is happening to the United States? You decide, it is about reality and the consequences thereof.
Lt. Gen. Marvin L. Covault, U.S. Army (ret.) is the author of “Vision to Execution,” a book for leaders.