Wake up, America: Debt and climate hysteria will kill us
As we move into 2023, an air of unreality hangs over America. Events and changes hurtle at us, but not much conforms to the way we know things should be. This sense of unreality is predicated on a lack of truth-telling. The government and business elites responsible for these changes, and the media who should be scrutinizing them, act as though everything is fine. But we know that things are not fine. If being "woke" means accepting a set of ideas on certain subjects handed to you by an intellectual elite, then 2023 might be the year of waking up, a year when the American people begin to examine the policies that are changing their world and judge them more critically. That will mean shaking off the dream we have been living in.
One part of this dream involves federal government spending and the national debt. Following the Republican House takeover in November, Democrats with some Republican support in the Senate passed another omnibus spending bill with a $1.7-trillion price tag. It was legislatively unethical, since it deprived the newly elected Republican House majority of any say in this year's budget, and it added another huge dose of government spending to an economy already weakened by too much spending and untamed inflation.
Shouldn't Republicans, and perhaps a few Democrats, have protested this extravagant spending? We hardly heard a peep from anyone. And crickets from the media. There was little debate on the merits of the spending or on individual items, except by Republican Sen. Rand Paul and a few others. Nor about the ethics of passing a spending bill in a lame-duck session, which hadn't been done in decades. The silence was surreal. This is not how our federal government or our news organizations are supposed to work.
The American people need to hear the truth about government spending. What money are we spending? It's money we don't have, but nobody mentions that anymore. Certainly not the press. Many Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, said this bill was good for America. How is more inflation-inducing deficit spending good for America?
Thankfully, 20 Republicans from the Freedom Caucus blocked Rep. Kevin McCarthy's election as speaker until they had wrung concessions from him, notably on spending issues. Republicans in the new Congress are talking about fiscal conservatism again and preparing to pass individual spending bills in regular order, like in the good old days. Republican rep.-elect Mary Miller of Illinois tweeted that the negotiations over McCarthy were done to "stop reckless SPENDING and DEBT from crushing our children & grandchildren." Those words need to be on the lips of every Republican in the year ahead.
House Republicans must start that conversation, especially with Gen Z voters who broke for Biden in the midterms. Sky-high debt crushes dreams. Abortion rights and transgender rights enflame the passions, but those issues won't impact Gen Z like the crushing debt the government is placing on their shoulders. It would have seemed unreal for Republicans to be silent about responsible spending and debt levels until recently, yet it also seems almost unreal to hear them talk about it today. That's how quickly things have changed. Maybe this is a sign that we are stirring from our slumber.
Another unreal part of our national life today is our energy problem — our self-created energy problem. The challenge of keeping people warm and alive in a cold winter is now an ideological issue. The Democrat elite is more concerned about our planet than about the people they are elected to serve. If people are dying because of lack of heat, or if they must choose between food and heat, that's an unfortunate side-effect of saving the planet. The health of the planet is more important than the people who live on the planet.
Prioritizing the planet over its inhabitants reveals a philosophical shift that denigrates individual human life, displacing the human person as the center of national policy-making. This abandonment of the human person for system-wide ideological goals is a central facet of Marxist collectivism, which has been challenging the Western idea of individual rights for some time. It is now having a real impact on political law-making here and in Europe. Climate change hysteria is being used to create a more powerful state, one that consolidates decision-making in the hands of the few in order to "save the planet." This shift from a state restrained by individual rights to a coercive state that provides certain rights is happening in this country right now. And it proceeds on a foundation of questionable science that is never questioned.
There is no incontrovertible evidence that global warming or climate change is caused by human action. The "evidence" is based on spurious atmospheric models that predict rising temperatures and catastrophic results. With little public pushback, climate change activists are winning the public debate and moving policy in an increasingly statist direction, a direction outside our American political tradition.
One of the first orders of business for Republicans in the new Congress must be hearings on the "science" of climate change. Republicans need to inform the American people that their lives are being upended not because of hard facts, but by a scientifically questionable climate hypothesis. The science needs to be examined, expert testimony gathered, and the facts presented. This one issue alone is driving a slew of other destructive policy initiatives.
In addition to hearings on climate change, hearings on deficit spending, modern monetary policy, and the exploding national debt must also be a priority for the Republican House. Out-of-control spending and ill-conceived green energy policies are contributing to a dreamlike unreality in our policy-making. The job of the new Republican majority in the House is to wake up the country to real life.
Image via Pxhere.