- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 20, 2010

If your finances looked like the federal budget, you wouldn’t get elected. You’d get arrested. Under the Democrats’ iron-fisted, one-party rule of Washington, family budgets shrink and the federal budget bloats: The deficit, the debt and spending are at record levels; massive tax increases impend in the days ahead; and widespread unemployment persists and pains working families. Compounding this crisis, the Democrats’ spending spree imperils our national security by creating a “debt threat” whereby antagonistic nations to which we owe hundreds of billions of dollars practice economic statecraft against America to influence our foreign and domestic policies and/or actively undermine our strategic interests. In sum, government exacerbates rather than ameliorates the economic chaos around us.

Amidst the economic, social and political challenges of globalization, the injurious inequity of Democrats’ fiscal irresponsibility is not lost upon Americans. We know the government’s morally bankrupt boondoggle, committed with our hard-earned money, squanders our prosperity, weakens our security and constitutes an immoral usurpation of our liberty and sovereignty.

A Rasmussen poll in August quantified the public’s wisdom on the subject, revealing that 62 percent of Americans “say that it is always better to cut taxes than increase government spending because taxpayers, not bureaucrats, are the best judges of how to spend their own money.” The same poll showed that half of all Americans “believe that a dollar of tax cuts is always better than a dollar of public spending” and that just 25 percent of Americans think “spending provides much more bang for the buck than tax cuts when it comes to economic policy and creating jobs.” Seventy percent of voters “favor a government that offers fewer services and imposes lower taxes over one that provides more services with higher taxes”; 74 percent of Americans “trust their own economic judgment more than that of the average member of Congress.” Sixty-six percent “trust their own economic judgment more than President Obama’s”; and “Nearly four out of five voters [think] the problem is not their unwillingness to pay taxes [but is] their elected representatives’ refusal to cut the size of government.”

In defiance of small-business owners on Main Street, working families and citizens across the country, the Democratic administration and Congress insist they must, in Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s telling phrase, “go spend money to keep from going bankrupt.” Acting upon his less-than-sagacious advice, the Democrats passed the trillion-dollar (interest included) American Reinvestment and Recovery Act - the so-called “stimulus” bill - which promised to stop the unemployment rate from exceeding 8 percent. (Unemployment later reached a 26-year high of 10.2 percent.) Next, the Democrat-controlled House sent to the Senate H.R. 2454, the “cap-and-tax” bill, which will cost working families $1,700 every year in higher energy and related costs. Finally, the Democrats are scheming and buying the votes of their own to impose a government-run health care scheme on Americans that will raise taxes while creating rationing boards.

Given the Rasmussen data regarding Americans’ rejection of more spending and bigger government, why do the Democrats persist in pushing this trillion-dollar hat trick of horrific legislation that will increase Washington’s record spending and its dictation of citizens’ decisions?

Because, feeling they are smarter than you, this Democratic president and his compliant Democratic Congress don’t want to control spending. They want to control you. And they are spending (and borrowing) your money to do it.

This is why a president - less than a decade removed from community organizing - can demand trillions of taxpayers’ dollars to create the “new pillars” of America’s economy. This is why, in addition to its cliched class-warfare rhetoric and fossilized wealth-redistribution policies, a furtive congressional majority can slither behind closed doors to defy the sovereign citizenry and pass an abominable health-redistribution bill. This is why every time the president and his Congress face an issue, their solution is to expand government at the expense of the American people. Placing their “hope” for “change” in themselves and their bureaucratic cronies rather than in you, the Democrats daily prove they do not trust you to make your own decisions and, thereby, freely shape the destiny of our country.

Thus, with every increase in government largesse ripped and spent from hardworking Americans’ pockets, we can measure the decline in our liberty, sovereignty, prosperity and security. Consequently, the new-left-dominated Democrats’ frenzied spending is not merely about our money - it is about our liberty. We are duty-bound to defend it. We must fight to preserve and expand America’s free-market economy, which the entrepreneurial genius and industriousness of the American people have made the most prosperous and equitable economy in human history. And you must, first and foremost, fight to ensure that we free American people remain sovereign over our subservient government.

For as we heirs of the American Revolution well understand, we do not work for government - government works for us. The Democrats’ fiscal irresponsibility must be rejected and replaced with fiscal integrity, which is premised upon the permanent, proven principle that American prosperity comes from the private sector, not the public sector. There is no other way to stop the Democrats’ one-party Washington from turning America’s sovereign citizens into serfs.

Again, as Rasmussen reports, Americans know this, and to those who doubt that the Democrats’ spending juggernaut can be stopped before America tips into a servile state in which more people benefit from taxes than pay them, let us steel our resolve with the wisdom of Lincoln:

“Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in this world?”

No, there is not. And speaking of justice, though the Democrats’ fiscal irresponsibility may not get them arrested, it can still get them unelected - because that decision you still control.

Rep. Thaddeus G. McCotter is chairman of the Republican House Policy Committee, for which he recently wrote “We the People: Wide Awake for Our Newest Birth of Freedom.” Learn more at www.republicanhousepolicy.com.