“While our country remains untainted with the principles and manners which are now producing desolation in so many parts of the world; while she continues sincere, and incapable of insidious and impious policy, we shall have the strongest reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned us by Providence. But should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation while it is practising iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candor, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world; because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” — John Adams, address to Massachusetts militia unit, Oct. 11, 1798
We have become so tolerant of anything and everything that we will not tolerate any intolerance.
In today’s newspaper column, economist Walter E. Williams describes this country as one doomed by moral and economic decay.
“For nearly three-quarters of a century, the nation’s liberals have waged war on traditional values, customs and morality. Our youths have been counseled that there are no moral absolutes. Instead, what’s moral or immoral is a matter of personal opinion,” Williams indicts.
He then answers his own question about how massive government spending will bankrupt the nation. “The answer would have to be Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Over 50 percent of today’s federal budget is spent on these programs. Around the time when many in the so-called Greatest Generation were born (1920), there were no such programs, and federal spending was $53 billion. In 2014, federal spending was $3.5 trillion.”
He concludes that we might be able to survive the economic decline, but the moral decline “spells our doom.”
Or is it a combination of the two, as well as a heaping dose of unwarranted self-confidence in our ability to fix everything with just one more government program.
Take that Social Security program for example. The CBO this week reports it will be insolvent by 2029, two decades earlier than projected in 2008.
We socialized medicine, and the cost keeps rising.
We socialized airport security, and the result is a 95 percent failure rate in catching guns and bombs.
We socialized veterans’ medical care, and veterans died waiting for the bureaucracy to act.
Federal land agencies want to protect wildlife, but let the land burn and refuse to kill predators.
Our state government spends our money on charging stations for electric cars that can’t make the seven-hour Las Vegas to Carson City trip without having to stop and recharge for several hours.
We socialized home mortgages and caused a recession.
The problem is all that problem solving.
There is too much heavy-handedness and not enough invisible hand.