Rob Schwarzwalder is Senior Vice President at Family Research Council. This article appeared in The Wilson County News on September 8, 2014.
Uncle Sam claims to knows best - even how best to cook.
At least, that what it claims here.
"Last Friday the Forest Service published an article about how to roast marshmallows. Tips included using a roasting stick of at least 30 inches in length and substituting fruit for the chocolate and slices of angel food cake for graham crackers. This perfectly captures what is wrong with our government. Hard-earned tax dollars supporting bureaucrats who can't pass up an opportunity to tell us how to live our lives. For the things that government is supposed to do - like confront terrorist groups - we don't have a strategy, but for things Americans are supposed to be able to do for themselves - like figuring out the best ingredients for s'mores - government bureaucrats have that figured out."
Consider that nugget in the context of the following report, issued earlier this week by the Congressional Budget Office.
"Federal debt held by the public will reach about $12.8 trillion by the end of this fiscal year, an amount that equals 74 percent of the nation's total output (gross domestic product, or GDP) this year. If current laws generally remained unchanged -- the assumption that underlies CBO's baseline projections -- CBO projects that such debt would climb to $20.6 trillion, or 77 percent of GDP, in 2024. Interest payments on that debt represent a large and rapidly growing expense of the federal government. CBO's baseline shows net interest payments more than tripling under current law, climbing from $231 billion in 2014, or 1.3 percent of GDP, to $799 billion in 2024, or 3.0 percent of GDP ..."
How is this affecting families? It means less money for them to spend on and invest in their own needs and fewer resources with which to make their own decisions. It means fewer companies creating fewer jobs. It means things that our federal government was constituted to do, like defend Americans and their families, are given short-shrift in the federal budget.
What is the solution? In addition to substantially down-sizing the federal government, restraining and reprioritizing its spending, and developing a less complex and confiscatory tax code, America needs stronger families. As my colleagues Pat Fagan, Henry Potrykus and I have written:
"Government revenues come from the taxation of the economy. The slowdown of economic growth coupled with increasing dependency on entitlement and welfare programs makes closing the budget deficit impossible within the present welfare state model. The origin of these adverse pressures is the decline of the American family ... The origin of the slowdown in growth is demographic and was set by the decline in families seen during the sexual revolution: the baby boom is being replaced by a generation inadequate in size and in skills, capacities and know-how to continue robust economic growth. The solution to our economic difficulties is to grow intact married families rather than grow government." (See MARRI.org.)
We don't need the U.S. Forest Service teaching us about roasting marshmallows. We need a strong economy -- and that means less Washington and stronger, intact, healthy families.