The way we were
In order for a union of states (like the US) to remain viable, the cost levied in taxes by the central government must be seen as a fair price for services provided. Restrictions imposed by the central government can’t go beyond the authority granted by the Constitution nor be so burdensome they negatively affect commerce or citizen’s rights of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That is the way our nation was designed—a weak central government with limited powers and strong independent states served by the central government.
Over time, judicial activism and an insatiable federal thirst for power resulted in what we see today. Federal authority is well outside the bounds granted in our Constitution. With states ratifying the 16thamendment and codifying a federal income tax in 1913, the federal government’s rise to unchecked power was securely financed. Career politicians soon learned that Washington DC was where fortunes could be made. The more power federal politicians could muster, the more valuable their influence.
Legislation and departmental restrictions (or waivers from them) became bargaining chips for the corrupt and greedy. Corporations, bankers, and other nations were eager to purchase political influence. It soon became clear that any authority ceded to the states, via the Tenth Amendment, would result in lost revenue opportunities for Washington wheelers and dealers. The states gradually surrendered almost total control to the central government; individual citizens lost their place at the table, shoved out of the way by big-money interests.
Then this happened: Fiat Money
Eventually, all systems will outgrow the resources available. Even with massive tax revenues, the US government debt climbs and climbs. As a nation, we are financially underwater. Every man, woman, and child in the US would have to pay $77,000 to get our nation out of debt. So, how does the federal government stay solvent and continue to provide a growing list of services to a burgeoning population? They just print more money—called FIAT currency.
“Fiat money is government-issued currency that IS NOT backed by a physical commodity, such as gold or silver, but rather by the government that issued it.” (Investopedia)
Paper (fiat) money has no value other than what the government says it has, and what everyone agrees to. Prior to the US issuing fiat money (1931), we were on the gold standard, whereby the denominational value of money in circulation couldn’t exceed the value of gold and silver in the national treasury. This proved an inconvenience to President Franklin D Roosevelt’s political regime. In conjunction with Congress nullifying the rights of US creditors to payment in gold, FDR took the nation off the gold standard. Eventually, all nations followed suit.
Today governments across the globe are on the cusp of bleeding their citizens and corporations dry; national resources are not adequate to cover their debt. Costly and over-reaching federation governments, like the US and EU, are under attack. Member states believe they are getting the short end of the deal, whether it is taxation or unchecked immigration. Valuable resources are flowing out to the federation capitals, with little coming back in return. Often what is returned to the states has so many regulatory strings attached it’s a net loss.
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That’s why THIS is going on
We’ve watched as Britain struggles to extricate itself from the EU Tar Baby. The EU and financial interests in keeping the EU together are stalling because they don’t want to open the floodgates. Factions in Italy and France are wanting to follow Britain out the door, as is the Netherlands. Now the Catalan separatists are re-energized in their break-away from Spain, and even resource-rich Alberta is looking to separate from Canada. Riots are breaking out all over the globe. Central governments are getting nervous.
Add to the above discontent, the Texas Republic’s secessionist movement, several counties in both California and Colorado wanting to break away from their states, the California state government wanting to break into three states—or secede from the US (pick a day of the week) and you have quite a Mulligan’s stew of large-government systems under siege. If I missed your state I apologize!
The “One World Order” globalist dream is fading fast with an international trend toward nationalism and more localized control. If the EU can’t hold its members together, what chance does a global cabal have? The main question is: what would a centralized world government have to offer other than another layer of expenses and unaccountable authority?
People are beginning to demand access to their representatives and a say in how their government is run. Washington politicians have placed themselves out of reach for the little person, so citizens are focusing more on the state level. They want more bang for their buck if they’re going to have to forfeit part of their wealth—truly bad news for globalism and corrupt politicians!
HERE is where we are headed…Russia, Russia, Russia!
On December 26, 1991, no longer able to financially sustain itself, and fearing another revolution or a US-backed invasion by Europe, the USSRvoluntarily dissolved, forming the Soviet Union. The USSR broke up into equal sovereign republics; this move followed a national referendum where over 70 percent of the citizens of member states voted for secession from the failed USSR.
The dissolution of the USSR allowed the individual states to secede and form sovereign republics, with individual rights, a free press, and ownership of private property. The heavy hand of the USSR politburo was lifted. What followed was near economic collapse and rampant corruption as oligarchs feasted upon the carcass of former state-owned resources. Hundreds-of-billions in wealth were spirited out of the Soviet Union.
Preceding the USSR referendum, a major generational conflict (sound familiar?) was tearing at the social and political fabric of the old system. Young people, who were fans of President Mikhail Gorbachev’s liberal vision for the USSR, voiced a need for major changes—changes that their parents and grandparents believed were unnecessary and dangerous. Socialism was on every lip; Soviet youngsters wanted MORE from the government at a time when their economy was strained to the breaking point.
Socialism to the rescue
With unrest and economic instability already threatening to destroy the new Soviet Union, newly elected President Boris Yeltsin radically increased social spending to placate the younger generation; this sent the Russian economy and his popularity into a death spiral, leading to Yeltsin’s resignation and Putin’s rise to power. Tough times followed as Putin enforced austere measures, while at the same time cracking down on widespread political and corporate corruption. He eventually became a hero to the Russian people, and the Soviet Union eventually crept back to heavy-handed policies reminiscent of the old USSR.
But the US is not financially bankrupt like the USSR!
This is a debatable statement when considering the massive debt hanging over our nation. The past fiscal year alone we ran a deficit of a little more than a trillion dollars (as of this writing, the US debt clock showed us nearing 23 trillion dollars). Our national defense budget consumes over 27 percent of the revenues brought into the treasury (989 billion of 3.654 trillion). Social Security and Medicare comprise 38 percent of our budget. We aren’t in much better shape on paper than the USSR was when they dissolved in 1991. Our social programs are out of control and we spend more than we should defending nations which have no regard for us, and contribute very little of their own money.
What about individual states and their attitudes regarding our federal government?
As mentioned above, people in some states are discussing the value of secession vs the cost of remaining in the Union. Many Democrats, including today’s batch of liberal presidential candidates, are touting the unfairness of the electoral college—one of the most important constitutional protections for the smaller-populated states. Should that system ever be nullified, you will be able to add a few dozen flyover states to the current list of dissidents looking for a way out of the federation. The current political movement to impeach a duly-elected president is also causing waves in the pool of national content. In too many ways, we are as divided as was the USSR thirty years ago.
Political Corruption is holding everything together
That may sound like a radical statement until you consider the billions flowing into political coffers from global corporations; it was 3.45 billion from lobbyists alone in 2018. Power and influence have shifted completely from the citizens to moneyed interests, and these interests are invested in keeping political power in one place, our nation’s capital—damn the cost to the Republic!
At the state level, we no longer hear politicians railing against federal encroachments on state’s rights; they are too busy feeding at the state lobbyist troughs. To run a successful campaign for state office in Texas, for example, you’d better have a couple of million dollars in your war chest, and very little of that comes from small individual contributions. It’s expensive to gain power so you can sell access!
Many of the same corporations spending money in Washington DC (like insurance and pharmaceuticals) are buying political influence at the state level. Another factor is the state career politician’s aspirations of making it to the big time in Washington DC. You can’t expect to join the big boys with a history of pointing fingers and throwing rocks.
The end is nigh!
When Hillary Clinton lost her bid for the presidency, and her access to the levers of power, contributions dropped off precipitously to the family so-called charity. Invitations to exorbitantly-priced speaking engagements also evaporated. With nothing of value to purchase, lobbyists and big-money contributors walked away.
The same will happen to all federal politicians when the government can no longer afford to provide favors and perks to their contributors. The quid pro quo system doesn’t work when there is no quo. As global investors and corporations look elsewhere for opportunities, our house of cards will crumble.
Secession can’t happen here—we already fought that war.
There are no indicators that representatives in Washington DC have any intention of stopping this runaway debt train. Additionally, our federal government, backed by the federal judicial system, extends its tentacles into everything that should be state business, and state politicians are unwilling or unable to push back.
As a result of federal unfunded mandates (rules that come down from Washington without federal dollars to implement them) the federal government is contributing to the insolvency of member states, and putting more tax pressures on corporations and citizens.
When the financial walls come tumbling down, and we have riots in the streets, state political leaders will finally point the finger of blame at the federal government. Many states will demand a divorce when it becomes clear that national insolvency is unavoidable.
Unlike the Civil War, the federal government will not have the means to wage war against seceding states. Their best alternative would be to make a deal with as many states as possible, similar to Gorbachev’s plan on restructuring the USSR. By returning to the limits on federal power imposed by the constitution, the United States government might survive. How they would restructure their debt, or convince states to help bail them out is beyond me.
What is clear is central government insolvency and separatist sentiment can be found across the planet. How it will all play out is impossible to know for certain. The best strategy for citizens is to get more involved in state government—that is your future.
David Brockett is a Vietnam Veteran and former Marine aviator. He has worked in the field of mental health as a counselor and hospital administrator. After retirement he volunteered with the US Forest Service as a wilderness ranger and horse packer. He writes fiction and historical fiction, as well as articles on politics, religion, gun-rights and current events. In his free time he volunteers with veteran’s groups and community projects. He and his wife divide their time between their home state of Texas and Idaho.
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