Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Real Halloween Scare: The Federal Deficit

According to the Associated Press, the federal government estimates our federal budget deficit at $1.42 tril­lion. As the AP states, "It’s more than the total national debt for the first 200 years of the Re­public, more than the entire economy of India, almost as much as Canada’s, and more than $4,700 for every man, woman and child in the United States. It’s . . . more than three times the most red ink ever amassed in a single year." 

This, of course, is only one year's red ink.  We have a federal debt (i.e., accumulated over the years) of trillions of dollars.  History has shown that nations with out-of-control debts and deficits are subject to hyperinflation, overtaxation, or fiscal breakdowns.  Governments desperate for revenue and debt reduction overstep their constitutional boundaries and imperil the unalienable rights of citizens.  We must tread carefully, or our economic - and political - demise will only become inevitable.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The True Meaning of Freedom

The Good Book says, "Be free, yet without using freedom as a pretext for evil, but as slaves of God." 1 Peter 2:16.

This very old fashioned understanding of the true meaning of freedom was deeply ingrained in the Founding Fathers. As explained in the Declaration of Independence, they strongly believed that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That God given freedom, however, was not given to men and women to simply do whatever they felt like doing – that is licentiousness. To the contrary, the Founders believed that men and women must exercise their freedoms carefully, with appropriate restraint, and for the common welfare.

Today, too many seem to have lost sight that being free to do something doesn’t mean that you must do it. We have too often blurred the distinction between legality and morality. Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should – or that it is defensible to do so. Prudence, frugality, honesty, integrity, honor – these timeless virtues need to be embraced to prove our worth of the freedom we possess.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Chavez: Freedom of Speech Must Be Limited

Venezuela's Attorney General Luisa Ortega recently announced that "Freedom of expression must be limited" in his country.  In support of new legislation to clamp down on opposition media, Ortega explained that newspapers, radio stations, and television stations could be targeted because they have attempted to "cause panic" and "disturb social peace."  President Hugo Chavez apparently supports the legislation.

The freedoms of press, speech, and assembly are all protected by the First Amendment in America.  We have done so because we understand robust debate is essential to ensuring good governance.  Indeed, we understand that such freedoms are unalienable rights that are beyond the realm of government regulation.  The message has obviously not reached everyone.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Vital Importance of Education

Noah Webster, the great contributor to American education and the lexicon, explained why education is so important to Americans:

"It is an object of vast magnitude that systems of education should be adopted and pursued which may not only diffuse a knowledge of the sciences but may implant in the minds of the American youth the principles of virtue and of liberty and inspire them with just and liberal ideas of government and with an inviolable attachment to their own country." --Noah Webster, On Education of Youth in America, 1790.

We ignore this advice at great peril.