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Racing Down The Tracks To Fiscal Ruin

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It’s time to rally true conservatives and Tea Party members across the state to the cause; not of defeating some liberal politician, but of reminding our GOP leaders in the state Senate and House to the fact that they were elected last November to save America from financial ruin – the financial ruin caused by decades of out of control spending for boondoggle make-work projects and by unsustainable income-redistribution programs.

At the time of this writing, the US debt clock website shows that our federal government owes $14,259,266,119,111 or $128,819 per taxpayer. I say per taxpayer, because as we know, almost 46% of Americans pay no federal income taxes. The debt clock shows our debt increasing so rapidly, you wonder how the thing doesn’t blow up. The site has a neat feature called “debt clock time machine” that allows you to fast forward in time to see what projections of our debt will be in the out years. The debt clock says that on this date in 2015, by Congressional Budget Office estimates, our national debt will be $18,421,602,500,000 or $162,939 per taxpayer.

Mark Steyn, on the Rush Limbaugh show recently, said that the federal government is borrowing roughly $188 million per hour to fund the federal government. That’s borrowing money and paying interest on money we don’t have at the federal level, with current tax rates that are strangling individual investment and corporate job creation.

Our North Carolina GOP leaders, including Char-Meck’s own Robert Rucho, after hearing lobbying from Charlotte and other officials, including Governor Bev Perdue, have agreed to accept $550 million of the borrowed federal debt dollars to provide for the high-speed rail project the NC Department of Transportation applied for without oversight by the NC legislature. Yes, former legislatures gave the NCDOT the power to negotiate with the federal government without legislative oversight. NC legislator Ric Killian, a Mecklenburg Republican, has recently introduced legislation to put the NCDOT back under the oversight of the legislature. Thank you, Ric.

The information GOP leaders in the legislature heard did not include a recently released report by the John Locke Foundation entitled “Should NCDOT Add More Piedmont Trains?” by transportation consultant Wendell Cox, which examines the project in detail. The full report is available here.

Cox’s report virtually screams “DON’T BUILD IT” to anyone who is listening and backs up that admonition with dollars and cents that aren’t fudged. While one of Senator Rucho’s arguments for spending the borrowed $550 million is that the state would need to repay almost $50 million in funds already spent, Mr. Cox’s report states that North Carolina’s future obligations could total “$250 million to $600 million or more to subsidize the Piedmont trains.” And that “the subsidy may not be financially sustainable.”

Now let me get this straight: We’re borrowing money we don’t have at the federal level that increases our national debt to unsustainable levels that obligates the state and we citizens to a project that loses hundreds of millions, that doesn’t create any economic growth, that doesn’t make our air cleaner … and GOP leaders are okay with that. Sounds like perfectly good liberal Washington logic, but not conservative, Republican, and Tea Party logic.

And it’s good to see a report take on the idea that public sector spending creates jobs. If that were so, the $750 billion federal job stimulus would have solved unemployment in the country, but that hasn’t and won’t happen. As Cox’s report states, “however, the jobs projection fail to take into consideration the jobs that are displaced in the private sector by taking money out of the private economy. Congressional Research Service and Government Accountability Office reports indicate that public infrastructure projects tend to add little or no new jobs overall and can result in overall job losses.”

The realization of the economic truth is finally here, that every dollar that is spent in the public sector must first be taxed or borrowed out of the private sector and hence public sector spending simply displaces private sector spending and public sector job creation is offset by the loss of private sector job creation.

Calling all conservatives, all true Republicans, and all Tea Party members … read the Locke Foundation’s report, tell our GOP leaders we turned the state legislature to stop exactly this type of reckless federal spending that wrecks our state budget too. Tell “our” GOP members in the legislature: DON’T BUILD IT.

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