People commonly think we can predict the future on the basis of the past. If this is true, then it is easy to see that the United States, since at least the late 1800s, has been subjected to an ever expanding government and an increasing number of government programs and “benefits.” These, once enacted, we are warned, can never be repealed.
But the reasoning is wrong. The claim is based on a faulty premise. History is littered with stories of governments that overreached and were forced to shrink. In every case, of course, they seemed omnipotent during their expansions. But at some point the collective burden of the debt and economic obstruction reaches the point where enough people are put in obvious pain to reject the “benefit.”
Just because the populace has been fooled into a ponzi scheme like Social Security or have voted for politicians that give them “free” money, doesn’t mean that Obamacare is guaranteed to last. On the contrary, Obamacare, as the last of a long line of increasingly insufferable “freebies” that have to be paid for, is in fact most likely the tipping point.
Consider an analogy from the housing bubble. Back when real estate prices were shooting to the moon, many naysayers told financial institutions that investing in property was a highway to financial Hell. But the risk assessors kept claiming that, because property had never suffered more than a slight decline in price (and rarely that), there was no reason to fear a collapse. But they were obviously wrong because they were claiming that a record of property values when growth was much slower applied to a time when property values were shooting upward. What goes up must come down.
Likewise, people who are saying that no program is ever reversed are remembering a wealthy and powerful US economy that was capable, at the time, of absorbing the damage of these inefficient programs that offered alleged “freebies.” But for a variety of reasons, including the continued existence of those past programs, we no longer have that economy. Obamacare is only going to attract votes if it actually works and delivers “goodies” that seem free to a majority of Americans. But there is every reason to believe that at some point some new program is going to become a massive failure to even appear to deliver on its promises. And all the evidence indicates that Obamacare is the precedent-setting failure. If people see Obamacare giving them worse product at a higher price, they will become enraged.
Rather than assuming no program, once started, can ever be rescinded, we should be confident that sooner or later all programs will collapse. Society will be allowed to find solutions without government planner-plunderers “helping.”
The Tea Party has revived the “Don’t Tread On Me” slogan. I suggest we recover another one from our earliest naval hero: “We Have Not Yet Begun To Fight.”
Don’t discourage yourself with fatalism. Keep fighting.