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Lincoln Institute


Rebuilding America:

Focus Efforts or Lose the Legacy


by Frank Ryan
 

Watching our Congress in action and the change that has engulfed our Nation since January 2009, I am convinced that the Obama strategy is to throw so much into the mix that fiscal conservatives will react to whatever the most recent brain dump is on the part of Congress and the White House. So far that strategy has been successful.

From the federal takeover of Government Motors, to the bottomless support of AIG, to the arm twisting of the banks to take TARP, to the seizing of Wachovia, and total fiscal irresponsibility of the budget deficits, I am almost out of breath.

The sheer assault on every principle I was taught to be fiscally responsible has been mindboggling. The genius of the strategy is virtually flawless in theory albeit destructive to our American experiment in reality.

Keeping Americans on the defensive and desensitizing people to the speed of change, the changes themselves overwhelm most people into inaction. For others, instead of being overwhelmed, they become consumed with responding to the last sound bite out of Speaker Pelosi's office or the White House.

Unfortunately, while the tactic and strategies Pelosi, Reid and Obama are using are successful in the short run, the long term consequences are disastrous.

Until the people understand that passing legislation rapidly and without reading by Congress is a guarantee of long term disaster, we will see more of the same. The government can try as it might to regulate markets, influence markets, and force itself upon markets but it can never react as quickly as a free market. The market will not buy into anything it does not want to buy into. Every market transaction requires two parties and the government can only control one.

Just as the sheer size of the subprime debt sank financial institutions and the real estate markets, it is a myth to believe that the federal government can print money indefinitely. In my experience with economic warfare in the military, I continuously remind everyone that "Nations can fail".

The risk to our Nation of thinking that we can control a market in every aspect is potentially our Waterloo moment. Our Nation can fail. Our laws can be rebuked by our deficits not being funded by people outside the United States.

Just as Britain experienced a brain drain in the 1960's due, in part, to its onerous tax code, the same can happen in the United States. China may decide to stop buying our debt. Unlike Government Motors, we are not too big to fail.
To stop this insanity, our strategy must change. We must go on the offense.
The dangers of the hour require us to unite. To unite around every issue is to not unite at all. Fighting multiple fronts is a strategic blunder the big government proponents would want us to make.

I suggest that we unite around a new national strategy in opposition of the current administration.

First, we should insist upon a limited role of government. The Constitution does a great job of spelling out those roles. In the military, we use a term "mission creep" as a cause of failure in warfare. I suggest that "government creep" could be our rallying cry. Putting all new programs against a litmus test of limited government will simplify our efforts and be easier to understand.

Second, we must demand a return to personal responsibility. Bailing out companies and homeowners, or forcing banks to adopt bad business practices only complicate an economic recovery. Be it health care, homeownership, business decisions, we need to allow failure as an option. When we can fail, we learn not to repeat those behaviors.

Finally, I would suggest that an amendment to the Bill of Rights of our Constitution guaranteeing a right of privacy to all our citizens is crucial to stopping the encroachment by an out of control government on the very fabric of our freedoms. We must stop government intrusion in our lives.

If we unite on limited government, personal responsibility and stopping government intrusion in our lives our message will be clear, our efforts united, and the opportunity to break the back of the big brother mentality is within our grasp. Those that have fought and died for our freedoms demand no less.

Col. Frank Ryan, USMCR (ret) CPA specializes in corporate restructuring and lectures nationally on ethics. He is on numerous boards of publicly traded and non-profit organizations. He can be reached at FRYAN1951@aol.com


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