Commentary

Stop the Steal of America’s Financial Future and Freedom

By Brittany Todd | December 17, 2020 | 5:23pm EST
A man proffers dollar bills. (Photo credit: Getty/Yuri Cortez/AFP)
A man proffers dollar bills. (Photo credit: Getty/Yuri Cortez/AFP)

The popular phrase “stop the steal” has lately been used by conservatives to protest the 2020 presidential election, but the phrase could soon take on more meaning as Congress prepares to further expand the role of the federal government and pass a bill just short of $1 trillion to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

That’s $1 trillion on top of the $6.6 trillion the federal government has already spent this Fiscal Year (FY), a substantial increase

Spend-happy Congress has racked up $3.1 trillion in new debt. With no plans to tackle the ever-growing $27 trillion federal deficit, this is generational theft, plain and simple.on the $4.4 trillion spent in FY 2019. With revenues estimated at $3.4 trillion, we are "living beyond our means," and federal politicians aren’t cutting up the credit card anytime soon. 

"Generational theft" is the debt burden we place on future generations. The libertarian-leaning FreedomWorks said, “every day, millions of Americans [are] paying into systems they will never see a return [on], never utilize, [and] never receive even adequate service from. Even worse, millions of people are paying into programs they don't want to participate in. The disheartening piece of the matter is that we aren't paying taxes simply to fund unpopular federal programs, we are paying taxes simply to pay off the interest and debt, hoping that one day we can start paying off what needed to be paid for in the first place.”  

With one of the consequences of overspending being reduced entitlement programs, the liberal think tank Demos is all too aware of the generational theft problem: 

“Over the past two decades, all the surpluses generated by Social Security and Medicare—several trillion dollars—have been used to cover current government operating expenses. This extra cash has allowed taxes to be much lower than would otherwise have been the case for Boomers in their prime earning years....” 

But it’s not just decreased cash support to entitlement programs and the debt burden that’s threatening American futures; it’s federal overreach. The proposed national mask mandate, for instance, threatens to restrict American freedom. 

The effectiveness of masks aside, a pandemic does not confer a new power on the federal government to mandate all Americans wear masks. That is not a power held by the federal government in the Constitution. A national mask mandate isn’t law yet, but future administrations may expand on this type of unconstitutional power grab and mandate, say, vaccinations in the name of health care.

A perusal of bills pending in Congress right now reveals an alarming number of attacks on personal freedom. According to a report in The Daily Signal, a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) hammers small businesses with a $1 billion unfunded mandate and reporting requirement that would “create as many as a million inadvertent felons.” In November, the Senate Commerce Committee tried to pass the Contact Lens Modernization Act which would have eliminated signed acknowledgement that a person received a contact lens prescription. Why the federal government should make it harder for consumers to make eyewear decisions is beyond me. It is also confusing why the federal government would want to burden small business on one hand when they are considering a new small business stimulus package on the other.

Whether we’re talking about federal politicians increasing the debt burden or stuffing more draconian measures into the hopper, it’s time for Americans to speak up. Conservatives have raised their voices in the name of what they deem a stolen election, but who will stand up against generational theft? The federal government must “stop the steal” of the next generation’s earnings and personal freedoms. 

Brittany Todd is a former GOP operative and policy researcher. She lives in St. Louis, Mo.

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