WASHINGTON. The U.S. is the most exceptional and the greatest nation on Earth. Our country managed to progress from its humble birth as a nation to become the world’s largest economy. In so doing, it has created the highest quality of life and the most powerful military in the world in approximately 150 years. Other nations are hundreds — and some even thousands — of years older and never progressed this far this fast. It happened here because America established and, in the main, followed certain key economic principles. But, unfortunately, today’s radical Democrat Socialist policies, if enacted, are precisely the opposite of what originally Made America Great.
Individual freedom and responsibility, low taxes, limited government: What Made America Great.
Perhaps the most important of these was the principle of individual freedom. American citizens were free to pursue their dreams with minimal intervention or economic burdens imposed by the Federal government. The American economy was based on free-market principles. Of course, along with individual freedom came individual responsibility. That is, individuals were primarily responsible for their own welfare. Not the state.
At least initially, the Federal government kept taxes low. This was, in fact, a logical transformation because the very nation was founded as a strong reaction to the British regime’s regimen of high taxation on its colonies. America’s low taxes meant an income earner could keep nearly all of what he or she earned. This provided a greater incentive for individuals to contribute more and earn more. This, in turn, proved a major factor in the rapid growth of this new country.
Finally, there was a very limited role for government at both the state and Federal level. The government provided the basic services that we refer to as public goods and did little else other than provide leadership.
By following the principles of individual freedom, individual responsibility, low taxes, and limited government, America truly became exceptional and achieved greatness. But just as the greatness was finally achieved, policies began to change as more social responsibility was added to the economic policy. Current Democrat Socialist policy proposals would destroy America’s successful model, perhaps irretrievably.
Social responsibility grows.
In 1913, the U.S. instituted the Federal income tax, resulting in an ever-increasing rate of taxation. In the mid-1930s, the government passed the Social Security Act, which, in turn, resulted in our ever-increasing Social Security tax. The situation became worse in recent decades as the Social Security system added other benefits to what was originally intended as a supplemental retirement fund.
In 1965, President Congress enacted Medicare. That substantial entitlement program resulted in a Medicare tax that has also increased dramatically over time. Democrat Socialist proposals would impose the Medicare system on all citizens to pursue their impossible dream of single-payer medical coverage for all with no limitations.
In the meantime, America’s growing system social programs and entitlements shifted Americans away from individual responsibility and toward social responsibility. Both are precisely the national characteristics that Made America Great to begin with.
This year, the federal government will spend more than $2.7 trillion on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. That’s more than 60 percent of total federal government spending. Worse yet, these programs are less than 15 years away from becoming insolvent.
These programs reduce individual freedom, reduce individual responsibility, increase taxes, and increase the role of government. While Americans are compassionate, perhaps the current mix between individual and social responsibility is not quite right. Perhaps we should bring back more individual responsibility.
Democrat Socialist policies: Doing a 180 on American success.
Unfortunately, the Democrats, driven by a growing cadre of Democrat Socialists in their midst, want to do just the opposite. The Dems’ proposals, while appearing to cure perceived social injustices, will stagnate economic growth, reduce opportunity, worsen income inequality, and reduce individual freedom.
The Democrats propose programs like universal health care, free college tuition, increased spending on social programs, government payments to those unwilling to work, taxes on individual wealth, and higher taxes on income.
These Democrat Socialist programs all focus on transferring income away from those who earned it and toward those who, for whatever reason, did not earn it. That means the income is transferred to the lowest income earners while the rest of the population pays for it. These programs go further than even the eight years of growth-stifling programs ruthlessly imposed on this country by the (secretly) Democrat Socialist Obama administration.
Obama administration prioritized “social responsibility” over jobs, wages and growth.
The Obama administration gave free or low-cost health insurance to about 6 percent of the population or about 20 million people. Obama increased food stamp payments, removed the work requirement and increased payments for welfare recipients while raising taxes on all Americans, especially the highest income earners. The result was a stagnant economy.
In fact, Obama was the only president in history to serve a term in office without having at least one year where GDP growth was at least 3 percent. He averaged about 2 percent growth over his eight years in office.
Since President Donald Trump has been able to eliminate many growth-stifling regulations and reduce tax rates for all Americans, the economy is finally starting to grow at about a 3 percent rate. By eliminating some deductions in the tax code, individuals were forced to become more responsible for their own expenses.
Going forward, economic growth can accelerate if economic policy follows the principles of individual freedom, individual responsibility, low taxes and a limited role for government. Policies opposite to those principles will continue to hold back economic growth.
That doesn’t benefit anyone.