I remember all those Lucky Charms commercials from the 1980s. Most of them probably aired during the Saturday morning cartoons. I do recall Lucky occasionally sliding down the rainbow to reach the pot of gold at the end. The goal of any leprechaun is to reach that pot of gold, right?
It all reminds me a little of the Medicaid expansion debate and the mythical pot of money that is so often alluded to by politicians. The argument goes that if we don’t tap that pot of money it will be sent to other states. I addressed that myth in an op-ed in the News & Observer and an FAQ on Medicaid expansion.
It’s all very utopian and, of course, there is no pot of money. The money comes from deficit spending and piling onto our $22 trillion federal debt. When a state opts out of the expansion, the money is simply not appropriated, meaning it just doesn’t make the spending and debt situation even more appalling than it already has become.
But that’s not the main point of this post. The way we collectively talk about federal dollars and spending as “free money” or something we absolutely have to tap into is creating a mockery of our entire political system and American foundations.
Any federal dollars appropriated are ultimately accountable and tied to the taxpayers of this nation. Instead of protecting their property and encouraging their work ethic, our government is threatening their future security through endless spending. It has the potential for a massive devaluing of our currency, higher taxes, and more and more centralized tyranny. We are setting up folks for a more meager existence if we merely continue the status quo.
We are in desperate need of realism when it comes to money flowing out of Washington. We have candidates running for president that are proposing more and more elaborate spending binges and some of the citizenry even stand up and applaud the madness. Rather, we need to be finding real solutions to curtail spending, particularly when it comes to entitlements given that is the greatest driver of the budgetary nightmare and ticking time bomb.
Ultimately, liberty rests with the people. States like North Carolina and its citizenry will have to take the lead to exact real change. Washington is too far broken and obsessed with their own power to spend more and more. The States have failed to hold them accountable and are becoming little dependents and cheerleaders of the spending binge. However, states that began to detangle themselves from the federal tentacles are poised to be better and more appealing in the long run. Let’s hope North Carolina is one of those states and even stands alone if it must.