Contrary to what you might believe and what the media (left and right) might be telling you the upcoming 2016 election is not about Donald Trump. It's not about Hilary's email server. Heck it’s not even about Republican verse's Democrat. This election is about the preservation of our Liberty. It is under attack from every angle and every direction. It is driven by the narratives that we are told are important and many Americans are buying it hook, line, and sinker. I am conservative in my views when it comes to government and spending. I am more libertarian when it comes to my views on personal freedoms, and I am Christian when it comes to my core beliefs. I believe that Liberty is at the epicenter of all of those things. Whether we call it “freewill” when speaking of God’s gift of choice, or the Bill of Right’s when referring to government, liberty is what drives us to be more then what we are today.
Before I go further in my explanation of why our liberty is at stake in 2016, let’s take a minute to truly understand the concept and definition of Liberty. Liberty is defined by Merriam-Webster as the state or condition of people who are able to act and speak freely, the power to do or choose what you want to, a political right. Reread that one more time and mull it over for a second. Liberty is not a thing it’s a state of being. It is a right of existence without persecution or constraints. Yet in that part alone we see the waters get muddied. People see liberty as a right of equality or a get out of jail free card to pursue whatever it is you want WITHOUT consequence. This is what inspires statements of “it’s not fair”, or “it’s my right” to seep out of the lips of those that don’t respect the foundation of what our liberties were built on.
President Abraham Lincoln said “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” This might be one of the simplest but most powerful quotes made by a President. It specifically defines the greatness of our country. To put it into today’s term it is our countries Mission statement. The idea that we all have equal rights to Liberty through our creation, in other words we are born with it. This statement is timeless and rings true today. However we have perverted it through big government and entitlements. Let me explain.
First let’s talk about Big Government. This is the idea that more regulations, restrictions, agencies, and more oversight will level the playing field for everyone. We see it in small and large examples and this administration has exacerbated this more than any before it. We have seen the reach of government extend into our small businesses, our right to believe as we want, and even into our kid’s lunch pails. We have seen large government programs and legislation that affects the many to help the few. Democracy is corrupted today by political correctness, lobbyist group, and super packs. It’s the ability to sway to right decision for most American to cater to the money and influence of a few. We see government try to legislate equal results for everyone not equal opportunity. Results are strictly and whole-heartily dependent on the person. We have seen stories of people coming from poverty to become wealthy, or from the projects to live in mansions. They take the opportunities given to them and run with them, or if need be create their own opportunities.
Here is a case in point of government over reach that negatively impacted the majority while positively and unjustly rewarding the minority. In 2009 under the Obama administration we saw government over reach into the credit card industry and impose strong and costly regulation under the disguise of standing up for the consumer against the big bad banks. This was the Credit CARD Act of 2009. In a nutshell this act prevented the banks from charging or limiting fees and penalties to consumers. Man that sounds good so how is that bad? Well the people most positively impacted from this Act were those that are delinquent, over their credit limit, or have had their cards revoked. I worked in the credit card industry during the time this was passed. The supplier I worked for was a low prime to subprime issuer of cards. This means we expected to have a higher rate of people going pass due then some of our competitors and definitely then the market average. However even at our worse times (between Nov and Feb) we saw our delinquency rates no higher than 11%. That means that 89% of our risky portfolio was current and paying as agreed. However when the regulations said you can no longer penalize the non-payers (by using the term and conditions outlined in their contracts small print or not) it threw off every issuer’s business strategy.
Here were the results. This did not help those that were delinquent as we saw absolutely no uptick in their payment patterns. What we saw was issuer’s raise interest rates across the board. Yes those 89% had to start paying more to compensate for those 11% that continued with their same, now non-penalized, behavior. Those folks that had a credit card for emergency purposes only and used it very little and paid the balance off as fast as possible saw their credit limit decreased to offset the potential loss numbers the issuers had to account for. Great card offers to people with great credit started to be less appealing, and 0% interest cards became a thing of the past. Programs that were once readily available to help people going through tough times became very strict on acceptance. In other words government stepped in to help those that weren’t helping themselves at the price of those that were. Wait am I talking about Obamacare now. Hmmmm
This seems like a perfect transition to talk about the second issue we see attacking our Liberty and that is entitlements. James Madison stated “Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” I think we have blurred the lines of assistance and entitlements so much that they have become more like charity. Which means it is something given to someone with no expectation of returns or change. Think of it this way. When you are walking down the street of almost any major city in the US there are people with signs asking for help. If you decide to give that person money then you are doing so out of charity and you don’t believe that the dollar or so you hand them will change their life or cause them to better themselves. In fact many times that money will be used on exactly what got them to the point of holding that sign in the first place. Use that philosophy alone and think of government programs we have out there now. If you allow yourself to honest and not influenced by political correctness you cannot help but see that we have moved many programs to fall into the definition of charity.
We have seen unemployment benefits being extended, EBT cards that can be used to buy candy and other junk food. I have recently seen signs in convenience store windows saying that Monster Energy drinks can now be purchased via EBT cards. This has turned a program that would once be used as a social safety net into more of a social hammock. When money is given to someone with no expectation of betterment or return then it is charity. This is glaringly evident when you see the Labor Force Participation Rate at an all-time low as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. See chart in which the left indicates the percentage of people working over the age of 16.
What this means is of the people of the age and ability to work less are doing it. This is the real number we should be looking at when talking about unemployment. Another great indicator is that Welfare Spending for our government was 2% of the GDP (gross domestic product) during the Great Depression. From 2009 – 2010 it was at 3.36% and is currently at 2.1%. So we are being told our economy is so much better but we still have higher welfare number then the Great Depression?
This is after the constant passing of legislation for “fairness”, the extension of unemployment benefits, and a horde of executive actions. You cannot legalize prosperity, however you can most definitely legislate dependency. Here is a truly scary fact that should have us all seriously taking a look at our elected officials and asking the question of HOW CAN THIS LAST AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO STOP IT!! For every 1.65 persons working in the private sector 1 person is on welfare assistance, and when you add in government employees into the mix the goes to 1.25 taxpayers for every 1 person being paid in part or full by taxes. Read more here.
So what does all this mean? It means WAKE UP FOLKS! Stop being force fed the narrative from media outlets. This election is about gaining back our Liberty and freeing ourselves from the hold that government has inserted (un-Constitutionally in many cases) on our lives. This isn’t about a Billionaire, or an email server, or same sex marriage. This is about our abilities to make our own choices, good or bad. Whether we have great successes and stupendous blunders it is our right to have the opportunity to do so. Stand up together and remember the words of Liberty that found our country, the men who died to protect it, and realize the there is an all-out attack on it as we speak. It isn’t an attack from a foreign power but from those we have elected that are either involved directly in the fight or sitting idly by watching it happen. So when you go to cast your vote in 2016 think of one thing and one thing only. Who stands for my Liberty, and check the box by that name.