Commentary

Three Changes America Needs

By Terence P. Jeffrey | March 10, 2016 | 8:00am EST
 

America has seen a decade of political upheaval.

Ten years ago, voters took control of Congress from the party of the incumbent president and gave it to the opposition party.

Two years later, they gave the White House to that other party, too.

Two years after that, they gave the House of Representatives back to the party that opposed the new sitting president.

Four years later, they gave the Senate to that opposition party, too.

Now, in this presidential primary season, it has become a cliche to say many voters in both major parties are angry at the government and driven by an anti-establishment sentiment.

And, on its current path, the United States is headed toward multiple crises.

If our nation continues to trend downward economically and culturally — and moves away from its heritage as a place where people could live freely under a constitutionally limited government that protected rather than threatened their basic God-given rights — then our politics will become more, not less, volatile.

If we permanently abandon the fundamental principles that made this nation uniquely prosperous, free and secure, then we will no longer be uniquely prosperous, free and secure.

The first change America needs is to turn back toward individual responsibility and self-reliance — and away from government dependency.

The federal government is already nearly $19.1 trillion in debt — more than $160,000 for each of the approximately 117,700,000 households in the country. What will happen if America continues down this debt-accumulating path?

"The likelihood of a fiscal crisis in the United States would increase," the Congressional Budget Office said in its budget outlook released in January. "Specifically, the risk would rise of investors' becoming unwilling to finance the government's borrowing unless they were compensated with very high interest rates. If that occurred, interest rates on federal debt would rise suddenly and sharply relative to rates of return on other assets."

To avert national bankruptcy, the federal government needs to reform major benefit programs — including Social Security and Medicare — and roll back welfare programs such as Medicaid and food stamps.

The second change America needs is for the government to once again protect the God-given rights of individuals and respect, rather than attack, traditional values and the traditional family.

As the welfare state has grown, the family has declined. Back in 1965, only 7.7 percent of American babies were born to unmarried mothers. In each of the last seven years on record (2008 through 2014), it has been more than 40 percent.

Since the Supreme Court declared in 1973 that taking the life of an unborn child is a "right," our nation has usually aborted more than a million babies a year.

The federal government is now trying to force the complicity of individuals and institutions in taking the lives of innocent humans by compelling them to buy or provide health insurance plans that cover abortion-inducing drugs and devices. In pursuing this new element in the entitlement state, the federal government is simultaneously attacking the right to life and the freedom of conscience — and, thus, doing exactly the opposite of what our federal government was founded to do.

The third change America needs is a foreign policy that seeks to prudentially advance the freedom, security and prosperity of this nation rather than change the nature of other nations.

In recent years, the United States attempted to transform Iraq and Libya. The Islamic State terrorist group took advantage of the power vacuums our mistaken policies helped create and is now perpetrating genocide against Christians and other religious minorities in the territories it controls. At the same time, we left our own borders open and our government does not know or control who or what crosses it.

Recently, the president sent Congress the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership deal that, if approved, would bind the United States into a trade zone with the Communist regime in Vietnam and would have the United States, as the agreement puts it, "[a]ffirm that state-owned enterprises can play a legitimate role in the diverse economies of the parties."

In the future, U.S. foreign policy decisions must not be governed by globalist or Utopian visions, but by careful consideration of this question: Does it use moral and constitutional means to advance the freedom, security and prosperity of the American people?

This nation does not need a new revolution. We need to go back to the principles of that first revolution that made us the United States of America.

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