Sliding Toward a ‘Banana Republic’?
By Phil Kent
Attacks on our traditional United States culture, freedoms, banking and private enterprise system are dramatically escalating, leading U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., to predict that our country is headed toward becoming a “banana republic” in 10 years. Of course, a “banana republic” is generally associated with Third World dictatorships that have large wealth inequities, poor infrastructure, bad schools and rely on foreign capital and money printing.
Trace the genesis of this slide toward a “banana republic” – if it is to occur— to trends that accelerated during the last term of President George W. Bush and the first year of socialist President Barack Obama.
Consider that, as of June 2009, 155 million people are laboring in a shrinking private sector, earning average annual incomes of $39,751 and average household incomes of $50,740. They are supporting themselves while also underwriting 22.5 million local, state and federal employees — and the average federal employee will be paid $75,419 this year. Those working are also supporting 3.9 million welfare recipients, 46.5 million Social Security recipients (a number that will grow as baby boomers retire), 14.7 million people drawing unemployment benefits, 47 million Medicaid and Medicare patients, the costly Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as programs the federal, state and local governments arrogate to themselves. And, of course, don’t forget the billions of dollars that illegal immigrants and their families are draining from taxpayers, ranging from educational to medical services.
These numbers, compiled by a former president of the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Association, underscore that we have a system that can’t take on much more spending and debt without collapsing — and polls indicate a growing number of centrists and white liberals who voted for Obama are realizing this horrible truth. Further taxes hikes will be political suicide for members of Congress, and simply printing more dollars will lead to ruinous inflation. And there won’t be much more borrowing from overseas investors who are already nervous about the falling value of our dollar.
Growing citizen pressure will hopefully derail the costly socialist Obamacare that Congress will debate in September. American Seniors Association President Stuart Barton, whose group is fighting the large, left-wing AARP over big government healthcare, warns that the proposed House legislation will limit doctor-patient choice, has an employer mandate that would kill jobs and lower wages, and that implementation would cost over $1.2 trillion – while cutting $500 billion out of Medicare over the next 10 years. (Check out the website www.americanseniors.org to join this fine organization.)
Implementation of a costly and radical government-control law that rations health care would further destroy what’s left of our private enterprise system, undermine a shrinking middle class and accelerate the transformation of our constitutional republic into, yes, a banana republic.
Historian Arnold Toynbee once noted that of the 22 civilizations that have appeared in history, 19 of them collapsed when they reached the state America is in now. The big question: Can we pull out of our downward spiral before it is too late?