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Joining the 'Once-Mighty?'?

The Wall Street Journal reported today that “Moody's Investors Service warned Thursday that it might review the government's Aaa debt rating for a possible downgrade as early as next month if there is no progress toward a deal in Washington to increase the $14.294 trillion federal borrowing limit and cut deficits.” And why would Moody’s take that action? The WSJ article went on to say:

"A short time after that announcement, a meeting at the White House illustrated why reaching a debt agreement has proven so difficult. House Democrats pressed President Barack Obama to insist that tax increases—something Republicans say they won't agree to—be part of any budget agreement that requires deep spending cuts."

Dr. Walter E. Williams raised a similar issue in his column this week at Investor's Business Daily, asking “Is U.S. on verge of joining the ‘once-mighty?”  Dr. Williams begins by noting “The latest Social Security Trustees Report tells us that the program will be insolvent by the year 2037.” He then goes on to write of how Congress describes “its spending is corrupt beyond redemption,” asking readers to consider “the term entitlement.” He explains:

“If one American is entitled to something he didn't earn, where in the world does Congress get the money? It's not Santa or the Tooth Fairy. The only way Congress can give one American a dollar is to first take it from another American. Therefore, an entitlement is a congressionally given right for one American to live at the expense of another.

“In other words, Congress forcibly uses one American to serve the purposes of another American. As such, it differs in degree, but not kind, from that uglier part of our history where black people were forcibly used to serve the purposes of their slave masters.”

Dr. Williams then continues with a bit of history, writing:

“People ask what can be done to save our nation from decline. To ask that represents a misunderstanding of history and possibly a bit of arrogance. After all, how different are Americans from the Romans, Spaniards, French and English?

“These were once mighty nations standing at the top of civilization. At the height of these nations' prosperity, no one would have predicted that they'd become third-rate nations, especially England. If during Queen Victoria's Jubilee in 1887 had a person suggested that England would become a third-rate nation and later challenged on the high seas by a sixth-rate nation (Argentina), he would have been declared insane.

“One chief causal factor for the decline of these former great nations is what has been described as "bread and circuses," where government spends money for the shallow and immediate wants of the population, and civic virtue all but disappears.

“For the past half-century, our nation has been doing precisely what brought down other great nations. We may have now reached the point of no return. If so, do we deserve it?”

Nothing less than thought-provoking. Certainly makes you want to read his column every week.

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