Right now, every American taxpayer owes $129,630 as their share of the national debt. By the time you read this, it’ll probably be higher. (I don’t know about you, but I need to ask for a raise.)
We’re suffering from unemployment over 9%, a government that wants to keep spending and spending and spending, and an out-of-control debt teetering on the edge of the debt ceiling. A recent Gallup poll shows 78% of Americans are dissatisfied and believe that America is headed on the wrong track. If you’re like me, you get jaded pretty easily by the seemingly futile battles conservatives fight for what should be simple common sense. But it’s important to step back, take a breather, and remember that we can turn this country around.
How? Flash back to 1776.
Not only was this great country created in that year, Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations was published. Though the American government as we know it now didn’t come into being for several years, the founders recognized that a responsible government that respected its citizens – and their money – is the key to prosperity. Liberty, both political and economic, was the backbone of our fledgling nation and remains the crux of the American Dream.
“We can learn what to do by studying the alternating periods in American history when careful attention was paid to these principles and when they were recklessly neglected,” says John B. Taylor, an economics professor at Stanford University. Increased spending and interventionist government policies like the ones the Obama administration is championing now, harm, not help, and create “an epidemic of unwanted consequences.” (New Deal, anyone? Stimulus package?) As John Adams said, “All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, nor from want of honor or virtue, so much as downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.”
Times of economic stability and prosperity have historically corresponded with low regulation, low taxes, and low government spending. Similarly, states with conservative legislatures have the most robust economies. My home state of Texas, for example, is by far the top job creator in the nation and thriving remarkably despite the recession.
While there has always been a wide range of views and philosophies in America – and that’s what it’s all about – conservative fiscal values have long held this country together, from the Revolution to Reagan and now to the emergence of the tea parties. Taylor explains:
In the past three years Washington doubled down on the interventionist approach, and deficits and debt have exploded. With high unemployment and fears of a secular American decline, there is now an urgent need to get back to the principles of political and economic freedom put forth in the Declaration of Independence and in the Wealth of Nations. The good news is that it’s not too late.
Though we may be frustrated right now, we’re still proud of our heritage, and that’s important to hold on to. We are tired of reckless spending, of petty partisan feuds, of being ignored. We can turn the economy around – by instating policies of fiscal responsibility and accountability, by returning to our country’s founding principles. The founding spirit has reawakened in the hearts and minds of the people. And we will not be silenced any longer.