"Trust but verify." This phrase was made famous by President Ronald Reagan when negotiating nuclear treaties with Russia, our once great enemy and now our 'friends'; ahem...
I find this to be a useful phrase in dealing with our political allies as we negotiate policies with our current and future representatives in the federal government. It is a sad fact that we cannot trust our own legislators these days. To be sure there are exceptions but the rule still is that a politician simply cannot be trusted to tell us the truth. Therefore we must keep a constant vigil to watch what they say and then watch very closely what they do. We must remember! Too many times voters forget what their leaders have said just a few short years or even months ago. Many patterns can be found in our discourse with politicians. The overwhelming winner, however, is the pattern of lying to the people on one hand, while making back room deals on the other, for the purpose of personal gain in power and influence.
Take for example, Barack Obama on the debt limit. While serving in Congress as a rookie senator from Illinois, he lambasted the body for even suggesting that we should raise the debt ceiling. He chided the politicians for lack of leadership and frivolous spending policies that were driving us into deeper debt and bankrupting our grandchildren...
"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.
Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion.That is “trillion” with a “T.” That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President’s budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion...Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America’s priorities."
--Barack Obama on the floor of the Senate; March 16, 2006--
This very same man has raised the debt by over 3.2 Trillion (also with a T) in two years and is on course to raise it to unsustainable limits. Please take that in for just a second. The hypocrisy is frightening. This same man just made a State of the Union speech in which he called for debt reduction, presumably in response to the last historical election loss by his party, while at the very same moment calling for more spending. And to be fair let us not forget George HW Bush's "Read my lips, no new taxes" pledge which he promptly broke, or his son's spending spree that would have made any Democrat president blush up till that point.
The pattern is always the same. The party in power cuts spending on the other parties favorite policies while increasing spending on their own pet policies. All to gain favor with powerful entities whether they be Unions or Corporations or both. The party out of power screams bloody murder about the reckless spending of the current administration, then when they gain power back, continues the trend.
Inevitably, they spend us into oblivion and the debt ceiling is not high enough for their insane addiction. They all scream that eternal damnation and the end of life as we know it will occur if we don't raise the limit and allow the spending to continue. In fact, the exact opposite is true. The raising of the limit and the continued spending is precisely what will cause the death of this republic. What follows will likely be a more tyrannical and powerful central government that will control the country's assets for their own purposes. The people will get much poorer while working harder and the bourgeoisie will get much richer and more powerful than ever. Sound familiar? It should. Every government in history has repeated this pattern. That is why our Constitution is so important and we must return to it's original intent.
It is a daunting task ahead of us, I admit. But it can be accomplished. The wisdom of our Founding Fathers put into place a system that will allow us to recover. But just as they stated over and over again in their writings, it can only be done by a virtuous and educated people. Arm yourself with the truth. Do not allow any politician to lie and get away with it. Many of us are already involved with political organizations. We must encourage these organizations to take it very seriously when someone lies to us. Especially our friends! We must let them know that if they lie to us, if they vote for spending more even on their favorite programs, we will not support them in the next primary. Then we must remember and follow through.
Trust but verify. And above all, REMEMBER. One strike and you're out; this must be our policy for our legislators from this point forward. Lastly, the most important moment will come when we finally do turn this government around, like we started to in '94; because that is when our friends will become comfortable and flush with their victory. Their eyes will glaze and their ears will perk to the sirens' song from the devils of commerce. The unholy alliance between government and business must be broken for good (and yes, Unions are businesses. Make no mistake). Watch them closely when they fail, watch them closer when they succeed. Never forget, even Thomas Jefferson was corrupt when seeking office (paid news editors to spread lies on Adams) as was John Adams after election (Sedition Act). These greatest of men fell victim to their own human frailties; just as they warned us in their writings on government. Fortunately for us, they set the government up to protect us from Man's inherent evil tendancy. They gave us the framework to TRUST BUT VERIFY.
by: Keith D. Rodebush