Our Greecey Future

On Feb. 24, ABC News announced it was cutting 300 jobs. Too bad Congress and the President refuse to join in recognizing reality.

Also on the 24th, I watched too little TV news coverage of the rioting and violence in the streets in Greece, the response to new government austerity initiatives – the inevitable future of the United States, absent immediate and dramatic action. I lived in Cleveland when the Hough riots took place and its residents burned their own community to the ground. We saw it in L.A. We’ll see it in every city in America if we don’t change course.

We are addicting an ever increasing number of Americans to endlessly extended unemployment benefits. We’re expanding government payrolls while starving the private sector of capital. We’re expanding unsustainable entitlements and creating obscenely expensive new ones. We’re propping up bankrupt private institutions and government entities. We’re printing money to point of worthlessness and borrowing at an unimaginable pace. Add it all up and we’re … Greece.

As small, quick dose of reality: the FDIC, on which Americans rely to insure their bank deposits, is, itself, $21-billion overdrawn. Social Security is a criminal fraud, a Ponzi scheme absolutely identical to Madoff. Medicare – also a fraud – is functionally bankrupt and unsustainable. Fannie Mae just asked for another $15-billion. Unemployment is high, housing’s in the dumper, a commercial real estate crash is certain. We have a mountain of problems that no amount of insane federal spending can out-race.

Then there are the states: CNN has reported that only 11 of the 50 states are operating in the black. A Pew Center study identifies 10 states on brink of financial collapse. California leads the list, at least $21-billion under water. State governments are hastily, desperately creating new taxes on business, wealthy, even charities and non-profits, hospitals (driving up costs of health care), and services of all kinds – all to no avail. There will soon be federal government bail-outs (with freshly printed or borrowed billions) for states, likely engineered to assist Democrats in mid-term elections. We are all passengers on a fiscal Titanic, arguing over the placement of deck chairs. Insane.

The only sane response? Cuts: a freeze on all government hiring; a 20 percent cut in all government wages (leaving them still higher, on average than those in private business); a 10 percent cut in all government pensions; and 10 percent per year across the board cuts in every government agency, program and workforce for the next three years, with the aim of a much smaller, leaner government attending to its constitutionally mandated essentials and little more.

I applaud President Obama for stuffing a cork in the spending on NASA – we do not need to go to the moon (again). And we must deal only with needs. But he needs not to single out one whipping boy, but attack all non-essential money holes. All. Further, bring troops home from places we could have left long ago, like say, Germany. Slash foreign aid. Finally, a moratorium on any and all new government programs or spending until there is an honest, transparent, balanced budget.  In other words, in total, the most aggressive roll-back of size, scope, cost, spending and debt of government in U.S. history. Anything less will guarantee desperate necessity to do worse, faster, more ruthlessly at some point soon – and risk an explosion of civil unrest, rioting, violence, crime.  Greece’s trauma, multiplied. If you can do math and will do it honestly, it won’t add up to anything but this doomsday scenario.

Most of what we see on Obama TV is no more “real” than is The Jersey Shore. It insults the intelligence of anyone who has any. The very idea of daring to wheel ‘n deal, cajole, threaten and push to add a trillion dollar mess fraudulently labeled health care reform to the crisis we already have is not only fantastical, it is treasonous.

Yes, I know I’m asking the impossible of entrenched politicians. Asking a bunch of pigs to voluntarily step away from the trough and head off to a Weight Watchers meeting. Pardon the pun, fat chance. Citizens need to push back en masse unless they want to be barricaded in their homes, guns in hands, as the street is overrun with violent hordes of protesters. We must find and rally around new leaders who will act on Reagan’s truth, that government cannot be the solution, and is, in fact, a major part of the problem. We must somehow affect a turnaround of our entire culture, from entitlement and the enslavement that comes with it, to responsibility and liberty. Or we will see our entire nation collapse just as we can see Greece’s collapse on TV right now. That is reality TV.

Dan Kennedy is a serial entrepreneur, adviser to business owners, sought-after speaker and author of 13 books. More information about Dan can be found at www.NoBSBooks.com, and a free collection of his business resources including newsletters and webinars at www.DanKennedy.com.

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