First, a quick re-cap on Jim Demint’s Amendment 501, which would have prevented the IMF from using $108 billion of American money to bail out foreign nations.
The Senate on Wednesday defeated an amendment in a 44-55 vote that would have prevented the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from using $108 billion in U.S. monies to bail out foreign nations.
The author of the amendment, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), said he is concerned that the IMF is using U.S. funds to rescue irresponsible nations and banks. He said the U.S. can no longer afford to offer such aid.
“There is no excuse for us giving away money around the world when we cannot even keep our promises here in America today, promises we have made to our seniors, promises we have made to our veterans,” said DeMint.
Now, Jim explains in the Wall Street Journal why 55 Democrat senators shouldn’t have voted against it.
If the United States wants to help Europe find a way out of its current debt crisis, we must be a strong, world economic leader, not merely the lender of last resort.
American taxpayers sent $40 billion to Greece last year, through the International Monetary Fund, to stave off an economic collapse. But the bailout did not prevent Greece’s day of fiscal reckoning. It only delayed it. Austerity measures are still needed throughout Europe’s socialized economy and the debt contagion has not been stopped. Financial chaos has spread from Greece to Ireland, Portugal, Italy and Spain, and it now threatens the very future of the 17-member euro zone.
Undeterred, President Obama last month told the press after breaking from a closed-door meeting with European leaders, “the United States stands ready to do our part to help them resolve this issue.” He would do better to focus his attention stateside. The most dangerous threat to the U.S. economy is not across the pond. It’s in the swampland of Washington, D.C.
[...]Greece’s economy reached its tipping point and was bailed out when government debt topped 137% of its gross domestic product. Despite all the measures that have been taken to aid it, Greece’s debt-to-GDP-ratio is even higher now, at 160%. Ireland was bailed out at 74% of GDP and is now at 80%. Portugal was bailed out at 94% of GDP and is now expected to top 100%. The bailouts have arguably made the European debt crisis worse, not better.
Total U.S. debt, including entitlement liabilities, reached 100% of GDP when Congress increased the debt ceiling in August. Our $15 trillion debt now rivals the size of the entire U.S. economy.
When he first took office, President Obama promised to cut the federal deficit in half by 2013. But instead he’s increased it by more than $4 trillion. Indeed, under his direction, the U.S. government spent about $1 trillion on a Keynesian-style stimulus that failed to create the jobs promised, will spend trillions more creating a European-style health-care entitlement with ObamaCare, and has more Americans on welfare than ever before.
[...]This year the U.S. sent about $67 billion to the IMF, which represents 17.7% of the IMF’s yearly budget—nearly three times more than any other nation. On top of that, taxpayers provided an additional $108 billion credit line to the IMF in 2009.
In 2010, the IMF sent nearly $40 billion in assistance to Greece, which did nothing to prevent the country’s economic collapse in 2011. On Monday, the IMF approved another $2.95 billion worth of bailout funds for the struggling country.
[...]Earlier this year, I offered an amendment to repeal the IMF’s authority to use the additional $108 billion credit line to provide any more bailouts. It was overwhelmingly rejected by the Democrat-controlled Senate. Forty-four senators voted for it; only one was a Democrat.
This has to stop. We have to stop electing people who don’t believe that people are responsible to create their own wealth, instead of stealing it from others – and impoverishing generations yet unborn. The right way to solve economic problems is to create the conditions that incentivize people to create wealth, not to discourage them by confiscating what they earn. There is a problem in Europe right now – huge numbers of benefits are being taken from those who produce (the private sector) and given to those who don’t (the public sector). The first step is to stop the bailouts.
Donald Sensing posted some thoughts from Abraham Lincoln on his blog that seem appropriate for this post.
If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we must live through all time, or die by suicide.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
Any society that takes away from those most capable and gives to the least will perish.
Few can be induced to labor exclusively for posterity. Posterity has done nothing for us.
No man is good enough to govern another man without that other man’s consent.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.
Let every man remember that to violate the law is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own and his children’s liberty. Let reverence for the laws … become the political religion of the nation.
If ever this free people, if this Government itself is ever utterly demoralized, it will come from this incessant human wriggle and struggle for office, which is but a way to live without work.
We have to distrust each other. It’s our only defense against betrayal.
Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.
Property is the fruit of labor; property is desirable; is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich and, hence, is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus, by example, assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.
It has ever been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.
I understand that stealing money from working people and their employers and giving it to lazy people is an important goal for Democrat politicians, because it builds up their self-esteem and it makes them feel admired and popular. But it’s not their money. They need to stop. Obama’s desire to “spread the wealth around” is not a moral policy, it’s an immoral policy – because it’s not his wealth. He didn’t produce it.