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.

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(14) comments

Mark Hayes

It is amusing to read the demonizing of " capitalist. " One must remember, it has been capitalist owned businesses and manufacturing that have made it possible for many individuals to become financially independent, prosperous, no need for government programs, other than they are paying the tax contributions that fund those on government run programs.

ken leary

"No need for government programs," Really? - You would be a lot less amused Mark, if our "government" hadn't bailed our failed financial/industrial system out after the 2008 debacle. Some say that was socialism for the wealthy. What, or who, do you think is on the hook for all the money that was shoveled into the system to save the banks and people's pensions, if, in fact, there was to be any paying back, which there won't be.

ken leary

“I do not necessarily believe the Biden Administration set out to create a socialist government.” That is an observation that reflects on the General’s capacity to think critically with respect to a very public and easily researched political career; and an indication that his following narrative would demonstrate similarly reasoned conclusions. Actually, what the General does is channel the Hayek, Greenspan, neoliberal bible which advocates for a free market, unregulated environment, in which they are free to chase profit sans consideration of society because they don’t believe in “society.” “Governments” only purpose is to protect (police/military) the capitalist’s interests which according to the theory will benefit people when the wealthy tinkle their excess on us, the grateful populous. As usual the General offers us a number of “what ifs” that are contingent on unsubstantiated, emotionally charged observations which have no connection to facts. For one thing, if the Fed raised the interest rate to six percent today our economy would tank. Not because the Treasury can not pay the interest, it can, but because all the financial criminals on Wall Street (private debt) could not. I feel pretty confident that interest rates (except for such things as our credit card rate which Biden defended) will stay at zero or very close. Social Security can’t go “broke” , it is impossible. Medicare can’t go ‘“broke” , it is impossible. We could run out of doctors and nurses because we don’t value them enough, but we can’t run out of “money” to pay them; it is impossible. So why do the General, Kent, James Buchanan, Ronald Regan and their ilk, continue to advocate for this political ideology? An ideology that determines any effort by the demos to enhance the conditions of our human experience through constraint of destructive capitalist efforts and policies to be a move towards totalitarianism. Why is that?

Peyton Cook

On your last comment. Yes we can continue to print money, but eventually it will become worthless like it did in the Weimar Republic (Germany) after World War II.

Mark Hayes

Ken I just read an article that relates to your destructive capitalist efforts and policies comments, it seems Black Lives Matter leadership has called for a boycott of " capitalist " White owned business, they won't shop in them, but they will break into to loot from them, with your disdain for capitalist will you joining them in their efforts to destroy the move towards totalitarianism ?

ken leary

Wow, what a reveal; can you hear me laughing Mark?

Kent Misegades

Great points. There is a large and growing counter-culture of true Americans that recognizes these signs of Marxism and wants nothing of it. They don’t wear masks, don’t send their children to government schools, don’t work for the government, return government bribes, aka stimulus checks, understand and exercise their Constitutional rights, and entrust their lives to God, not the occupant of the White House.

Sally Larson

Then tell me why the alt-Right wants Trump back in. If that happens we will have an Autocracy, certainly not a democracy.

Kent Misegades

What is an Alt-Right? Sounds like another conspiracy theory Sally.

Sally Larson

Kent, there are Republicans who don't like Trump. His character is questionable and there's nothing about him that says he even cares about anyone but himself but they vote for him because they only vote Republican. Then there are Republicans who are followers of Qanon and believe in all the conspiracy theories (without proof) that get floated around and think the election was stolen from Trump. They are so caught up in the lies they can't even see straight. That's the Alt-Right.

Peyton Cook

I voted for Trump in 2016 because of his policies not his ego. He did make America Great Again. While I also voted for him in 2020 he lost because of his ego. I could not vote for Biden because of even though he ran as a moderate, the policies of Bernie Sanders, an avowed Socialist, would be ruinous to the nation. That been the case. Every decision his administration has made has been harmful..

Peyton Cook

Sally, as of January 20, 2021 the Democrats have controlled the United States. Both the Executive and Legislative branches are in the hands of the Democrats. Republicans have little or no power. So why all the blame on Republicans. It squarely rests on the shoulders of the Biden Administration, not the Trump Administration who’s domestic policies worked. The economy thrived and the Southern border was closed. The Armed Forces were in the process of becoming stronger after Obama had weakened them. In other words the Trump policies made the United States safer and stronger

The opposite has happened in les than a year under the Biden policies. As a result, the elections in Virginia and New Jersey bode I’ll for Democrats in 2020. Finally, the United States is not a Democracy: it is Federal Union of States. It is your party which is attempting to push this nation toward Socialism.

Dwight Kidd

Dems always weaken the military to get money for give away programs and the next Repub has build it back up. Looks like the American people would wise someday.

Sally Larson

Peyton, I don't believe I was blaming anyone here, I was just replying to Kent's question about Alt-Right.

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