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Our “Downsized” Future
By Lowell Ponte
Republicans cutting taxes would be “the end of the world…Armageddon,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi days ago. This could certainly be the end of her world, because Democratic Party power comes largely from taxing and redistributing to its voters the earnings of Republicans.
Congressional leaders of both parties understand that their money and power have come at a terrible cost to America’s liberty, prosperity, and individual independence. To make itself big, government has made many of us small, like the people who decide to save money by being shrunk to 5 inches tall in Matt Damon’s insightful forthcoming movie “downsizing.”
We are headed for the end of America, as our nation’s Framers dreamed it, if our citizens cannot make their courage and self-reliance big enough to force our government to be small again – small enough to fit inside the Constitution.
Look what we have become. Instead of honest hard money, our dollar has been turned into “an elastic currency,” as the enabling legislation of the Federal Reserve called for. Now our government simply prints as much as it wishes to spend, leaving us to pay for this with the invisible tax of inflation.
Today our central bank, the Fed, aims deliberately to create 2 percent inflation per year – which would mean that your savings lose 20 percent of their purchasing power every 10 years, and 80 percent of their worth or more over a 40-year life on the job.
But according to a new measure by the New York Federal Reserve Bank, its “Underlying Inflation Gauge” (UIG), for the past year real inflation has been running close to 3 percent – devouring your earnings and savings purchasing power at a rate of 20 percent in less than 7 years, and shrinking your working life savings by at least 80 percent in less than 28 years.
How much will you need to retire one day? Even if you have saved a $1 Million nest egg, according to CNBC, this would provide you only enough to live less than 12 years in Hawaii, and barely 16 years in California or 17 years in states such as New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, or Oregon.
And these calculations were done assuming 2 percent inflation, not 3 percent. Your Social Security payments are supposed to have Cost-Of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) to protect you from your dollars losing value to inflation, but during 8 years of Barack Obama’s Administration COLAs were reduced essentially to zero, even as hamburger and gas prices doubled or worse.
Government, you see, has its own problems. The politicians have already looted $2.66 Trillion from the Social Security Trust Fund. Pension funds for government employees were underfunded by many trillions of dollars. Many millions of Ms. Pelosi’s voters have saved little or nothing, expecting (as her class warfare rhetoric called for) that others would be heavily taxed so they could continue to ride through life for free.
The price of everything (especially the voters Pelosi pays to buy her party’s power) keeps rising. To Progressives like Pelosi, you can always get by with less – but what government takes and spends is non-negotiable and can never be cut (except Constitutionally-authorized defense spending). You will be further “downsized” by taxes so that obese government and its cronies continue to grow larger and fatter.
No wonder that Millennials hope not for wages but wagers on get-rich-quick Bitcoin and lottery tickets. No wonder that some financial advisors now predict that the legalization of California marijuana businesses on January 1st will make investors rich – even as it makes Pelosi’s Golden State stoned and deluded.
How long until California imitates Hawaii, where those using medical marijuana have just been ordered to surrender any guns they own because they are no longer in their right minds? This is the way the free world ends – with a toke and a Bitcoin token as its new highest values. As comedian Steve Martin joked, “Let’s get small.”
To schedule a fascinating interview with Lowell Ponte, a former Reader’s Digest Roving Editor, contact: Sandy Frazier at 516-735-5468 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
For a free copy of Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte’s latest book, Money, Morality & The Machine, contact: David Bradshaw at 602-918-3296 or email him at email@example.com .