Welcome to three-card monte. That's all that the Obama administration's economic program amounts to -- a sleazy con man's card trick.
The president didn't even bother to pay any attention to the recommendations of his deficit reduction group, headed by former Sen. Alan Simpson. That would have required adhering to a modicum of fiscal discipline.
He also kept himself at arm's length from politically untouchable Social Security and Medicare because he is thinking about his re-election campaign in 2012. But if we don't put them on the table now, America will end up like the Soviet Union -- on the ash heap of history.
It all comes down to spending. We have tried stimulus spending by the government to boost the economy, and after tens of billions of dollars have been spent -- on only God knows what -- more stimulus spending by Uncle Sam won't make it any better. After all, we are spending money we don't have.
To put it bluntly, the government of the United States is broke -- flat broke. We're so deep in debt that getting out of the hole we've dug for ourselves will never happen in our lifetimes or those of at least a couple of generations to come. Their heritage will be a mountain of debt built by their forebears -- us.
Stamped invisibly on the heels of a couple of generations of every American baby yet to be born will be the equivalent of a sheriff's notice that the inhabitant is bankrupt and the premises forfeited.
Since our founding, it has been the obligation of each generation to leave a more prosperous and growing economy to their offspring. Tragically, that is no longer the case. What we now bequeath them is an insurmountable mountain of debt.
While some of the IOUs have been signed by the Obama administration, a lot of them bear the signatures of previous administrations, both Democrat and Republican.
The late Harry Hopkins, FDR's chief political guru, laid out the formula for winning elections -- "spend and elect." It's been followed faithfully by one after another federal administration. They spend your money, and in gratitude you re-elect them.
It's a strategy that relies on using the people's money, extracted by federal taxation, to buy their votes. And it has been successful. The majority of members of the House and Senate base their re-election campaigns on bragging that they have brought home the bacon -- slabs of which were paid for by the voters of other states as well as their own. It's a con man's dream come true.
All of the largesse bequeathed to each generation is billed to some future generation that has no say in what is being done to their inheritance by their spendthrift ancestors.
This can go on for just so long before the bill collectors arrive at the front door, and they are now lining up with notices of dispossession in their hands.
Unless the Supreme Court does what it should do, and declares the whole scam known as Obamacare unconstitutional, the drain of federal pocketbooks -- and your own -- will open wide, and sooner or later end in bankruptcy. America's vaunted health care system will begin to resemble those of other nations which have been lured into the fool's paradise of socialized medicine.
The champions of federalized health care insist that everyone must be entitled to the same level of health care as that available to the rich. Carry that idea to the auto world and we should all be driving Rolls-Royces.
If this nation is ever to get back on the road to fiscal sanity, we as a people will need to understand that the road to fiscal stability is paved with the building blocks of the individual efforts of every American and not those of the federal government, whose only financial resource is in our pocketbooks and wallets.
- Michael Reagan, the son
of President Ronald Reagan, is the founder of The Reagan Group.
His columns are distributed
exlusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. (Reagan@caglecartoons.com).