U.S. Capitol at Dusk

U.S. Capitol at Dusk

By: Brian Sikma

We are only a few weeks into a new session of Congress and just barely over one week into the presidency of Barack Obama and already the vague promises of hope and change are materializing in ways that do not bode well for the state of our economy. Last year Americans saw banks, investment institutions, and automakers receive billions of taxpayer dollars in a massive effort to bailout sectors of the economy deemed too important to fail. Now Washington is considering a bigger, but hardly better, bailout bill that would dramatically change the way the federal government interacts with Americans on a daily basis.

The current price tag of this new bailout is $825 billion. To put that in perspective, that is equal to roughly $10,520 for every American family. But as was the case with previous bailouts, you won’t be seeing that money in your pocket. The advocates of Hope are hoping that this spending will create new demand in the economy and thereby create jobs and put Americans to work. The money will be spent on infrastructure projects and other economically stimulating activities. In typical Washington fashion, however, $200 million in new sod for the National Mall, $50 million in funding for artistic projects, and $400 million for climate change research all count as economically stimulating even though the majority of Americans would probably not view these projects as absolutely essential to the health of the economy.

What our country needs right now economically is not new spending funded by taxpayers but rather policies that allow American workers, families, and companies to keep more of their hard earned money. The tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 are set to expire in 2011 and our nation has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Instead of increasing the national debt by 10% in one year ($1 trillion) Congress and the new president should focus on unleashing the ingenuity of the American people. Our government should not bailout every business it thinks is too big to fail, our government should not take money from responsible taxpayers to pay for the irresponsibility of others.

Because the stimulus bill is moving quickly through the House of Representatives, you need to contact your member of Congress today and urge them to oppose wasteful spending, massive increases in debt, and government interference with the private sector and vote NO on the proposed $825 billion bailout. Your Representative is coming under a lot of pressure from special interest groups and those who want a slice of your money, and they need to hear from you. You may not have voted for your Representative, you may not agree with them on many issues, but by putting pressure on them you can let them know that you are going to hold them accountable for what they are doing. Click here to find your Representative.

What is at stake here is not only the immediate future of the economy but also the survival of freedom: economic freedom and individual liberty. If the government can tell some companies they are too big to fail and other companies they are small enough to fail while bailing out the big companies with your money, they can tell you want to do and how to do it. The difference between a bailout for large companies and the immediate redistribution of wealth between individuals is one of scale, not principle. You and I must not let this assault on freedom go unnoticed or unopposed. Economic freedom, religious freedom, personal freedom and the liberties that we enjoy all go together. One is not assaulted without the others being threatened.

As our nation faces four years of abiding by the consequences of an electoral decision, we must not falter and we must not waiver in our principled defense of what is true and right and honest and just.