By P. Revere and Peter Vessenes of American Citizens for Economic Freedom (http://truecapitalism.org/). We are the super PAC for the Tea Party and Women's Organizations, founded by prominent business entrepreneur, Peter M. Vessenes.
Today’s news is filled with stories about groups of people around the country talking about themselves as the 99%, and expressing their feelings about the 1% who “control” the economy and the capital. I asked, “Which am I? Am I really one of the 99%, and are the people Occupying Streets representative of me?”
My conclusion is “No” to both, but am I alone in my thinking?
I had to apply some critical thinking to discover where this entire movement got its roots and foundations. I found that this “movement” has its roots in Progressivism and in the halls of Congress today. Politicians created the dialogue of the “haves” and the “have-nots” to divide people and to gain votes and power for themselves. Are there facts to support this? Let’s see…
The progressive movement began with Teddy Roosevelt, and was supported by a growing list of intellectuals focused on order, stability and social justice; things that the industrial society had started to change. His platform focused on social and political reform. His movement was the birthplace for what we know today as a National Health Service, Medicare and Medicaid, OSHA, Inheritance Taxes, the Environmental Protection Agency and The Department of Education. This was the start of a “Big Government” strategy that would touch every American’s life through government regulations and entitlements. It also gave power to career politicians who viewed government as the solution to social injustice and unequal incomes.
Other politicians adopted and expanded the progressive movement, along with its costs and regulatory programs. Presidents such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter supported and expanded the movement into bigger, more costly social programs like the New Deal, the Great Society and the Departments of Energy and Education. All of these programs and departments increased the size of government and the role government plays in how we live and what we earn.
With the increased size of our government came the need for people to enforce and oversee these programs. Departments full of non-elected bureaucrats grew, as regulations were written with requirements to check on the enforcement of the regulations. Do you get the feeling that progressivism means there are more people looking over your shoulder and into your home?
So how big are these progressive programs today, and how many people are involved in supporting these programs, agencies and departments?
Health and Human Services – in budget year 2011, they had a total budget authority of nearly $902 billion, and over 72,900 (full-time equivalent) employees
Department of Energy – in 2011 had over 116,000 employees and contractors’ total liabilities of $371 billion, including $30.3 billion in pension and related liabilities
Department of Education – in 2011 spent $69.9 billion
Environmental Protection Agency – has over 17,000 employees at a cost of $320 million
According to a USA Today article from 2010, the government spent in 2008 about $224 billion on salaries for about 2 million civilian employees. The article also stated that in a wide range of jobs, federal employees earn higher average salaries than private sector workers doing the same job.
Do you think these costs have gone up since 2008? Have your wages and benefits gone up by the same amount?
Remember, government does not grow crops, raise cattle, build small businesses or build factories. They do, however, pay their workers more and have better benefits and pensions than private sector companies…and WE pay for this.
When people “occupy” the streets of cities, shouldn’t they really be in front of the Capital and the White House in Washington demanding a return of our freedom and a shrinking of the number of workers who don’t actually produce anything? Big business is nothing compared to big government: at least private business is producing something of economic value that can be sold or traded when both parties believe they each receive equal or greater value in the trade – True Capitalism.
This is no longer “big” government; this is “HUGE” government. The “haves” are the government employees and politicians. Who are the “have-nots”? They’re us, the citizens.
We have the right and the might to change this in 2012. We don’t need more politicians and more HUGE government; we need candidates who respect the constitution and the freedom for all to pursue prosperity without over-regulation at HUGE cost.
I recently read a poster that said, Government: If You Think The Problems We Create Are Bad, Just Wait Until You See Our Solutions.
Your vote matters: We must change our government leadership in 2012 to stop oppressive policies and regulations so the 99% can get back to providing the best means for ALL of us to prosper.
 Lecture http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHG6vc6gCSc
 FY 2011 HHS Budget in Brief (pdf) p.3 of pdf; p.1 as numbered http://www.hhs.gov/about/budget/fy2011/#Brief
 FY 2011 DOE Agency Financial Report (pdf) pp.9-10, 22 of pdf; pp.4-5, 17 as numbered http://energy.gov/about-us/budget-performance
 US Department of Education, FY 2011http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/index.html
 FY 2011 EPA Agency Financial Report, pp.11, 25 of document; pp.3, 17 as numbered http://www.epa.gov/planandbudget/results.html