Tim Pawlenty wrote in the Wall Street Journal this morning that public employee unions contributed over $91 million in campaign contributions during the mid-term election. Seems like a conflict of interest right? Unions donate to politicians, who become their bosses, and send more money to the unions. In the next election, those unions have more money to send back as campaign contributions. If private businesses were doing this it would be called “pay-to-play” and arrests are made every year for just such behavior. Perhaps a ban on public-employee campaign contributions is in order. In Wisconsin the new governor is looking to take away the right of public employees to join unions, that’s a great idea that ought to be implemented nationwide.
Unions are just one of the special interests that feed like parasites on government largesse. The ethanol lobby is another. Ethanol doesn’t make any economic sense, especially when it’s produced from corn here in the U.S. That’s why there is a 54-cent tariff on an imported gallon of ethanol, and a subsidy of 45 cents for each gallon of ethanol produced in America. Not only that, but many are forced to buy gasoline infused with ethanol to meet government standards. What a racket! Not only does ethanol need 99 cents a gallon of government protection, but it also needs a mandate to generate demand. Even Al Gore doesn’t believe in the merits of ethanol today, now that he isn’t receiving ethanol campaign contributions. But corn-state senators like Tom Harkin and Chuck Grassley are surely still receiving those contributions, so the subsidies roll on. Read more about this travesty from Cato Institute senior fellow Jerry Taylor here. What Americans are looking at in the final days of this lame-duck session of Congress is a favor-factory operating at full-steam. Both sides of the aisle are attempting to load up the tax cut plan with as much pork as possible.
The end-game of special interest porking can be seen in England today. Students are absolutely outraged because their tuition bills have been raised. After years of state subsidized education, the students aren’t sure why they are being forced to pay more of their own tuition bills. They don’t understand that their country sits on the brink of bankruptcy, and this is only one of the many small measures the government is trying to take to rein in the spending that has gotten them there.
Hypothetically speaking, let’s say that Barack Obama’s healthcare plan is implemented fully in the decade to come. Then in the decade after that the United States is hit with impending bankruptcy. Many Americans at this point have come to depend entirely on the public sector for their healthcare insurance and private insurers are nearly a thing of the past, only existing to insure the very wealthy. What happens when the government tells these Americans that it can no longer pay for their insurance? The same things that are happening in England today, that’s what.
The end of socialism is always coupled with popular angst and unrest, looking at the fall of the Soviet Union or any number of the satellite states that were forced to embrace communism at gunpoint. These nations all erupted in popular discontent when the charade finally came tumbling down. Revolutions and coups were the order of the day. America must head off any such disaster by not taking the same path that those nations were forced to take.
One more way the U.S. can pull itself back from the brink of bankruptcy would be to end the illusion that the war in Afghanistan is a winnable conflict, with a visible end-game. The recent elections are about to be nullified, and the recently released Wikileaks cables point to an Afghan government that is untrustworthy at best, and corrupt at worst. No government in Kabul in its present form will ever rule the south of the country. The U.S. needs to bail out before this quagmire sinks the U.S. like is sank the U.S.S.R.
A number of critical decisions need to be made soon. Americans need to break their public-employee unions so the country isn’t swamped with ever-increasing demand for government revenue. And wars and occupations of countries around the world must end. America needs to remove its troops from friendly nations, and end wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. There is no money for these occupations.