The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns the collusion that is rampant in our world today. Collusion means secret or illegal cooperation to deceive or cheat other people. Its synonyms are conspiracy, connivance, complicity, intrigue, plotting, collaboration, and scheming. My term for groups that practice collusion is “secret combinations.”
Boyd C. Matheson is the president of Sutherland Institute, “a conservative think tank that advocates for a free market economy, civil society and community-driven solutions. He recently posted an article titled “Collusion, not conflict, is bankrupting the nation.” He reminds his readers that Americans complain loudly about the “conflict” in Congress between Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals. He says that all the conflict makes good news stories, but it is not “the real problem in Washington.
Collusion is the silent but lethal force that has crippled the economy and strapped the nation with debilitating debt, and it ensures that power stays within the Beltway elite instead of with the American people.
You simply cannot get $20 trillion in debt through conflict. It is absolutely impossible. The only way to get $20 trillion in debt is through collusion.
Collusion takes place when one Senator agrees to sponsor or support the bill of another Senator but requires a favor in return. One form of collusion was earmarks. The earmarks are no longer a part of the legislative procedures, but there are other forms of collusion. If you do not believe that collusion takes place, please answer this question: How do the politicians become so rich while in office? Almost every politician leaves government careers much richer than when they started “serving” in office.
Matheson claims that state and local governments, as well as the American people, join the collusion by accepting “more and more money from the federal government, with all the strings that go with it.” American citizens do not seem to care about the price as long as they receive the services. Matheson says,
Amazingly few Americans acknowledge or even recognize the economic cost of such collusive spending today or the total societal price of that debt their grandchildren will pay tomorrow.
Over the past 40 years our national debt has skyrocketed from $1 trillion in the mid-1970s to $20 trillion and counting today. If the interest rate, which has been near historic lows, were to tick up just slightly toward historic norms, the annual interest payment on America’s debt would rapidly reach nearly $1 trillion. That is just the interest. No tax increase or spending cut would even come close to closing that gap. Such collusion-induced debt and rising interest payment would decimate the poor and the middle class in America.
I do not understand the willingness of politicians to bring so much debt to our nation, and I do not understand why Americans continue to elect the politicians who vote for more debt. Matheson quoted the following statement from J. Reuben Clark, Jr. who was a member of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Interest never sleeps nor sickens nor dies; it never goes to the hospital; it works on Sundays and holidays; it never takes a vacation; … it has no love, no sympathy; it is as hard and soulless as a granite cliff. Once in debt, interest is your companion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yields neither to entreaties, demands, or orders; and whenever you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you.
Americans must understand that the conflict in Congress is not as bad as the collusion taking place there. The collusion is bringing ever increasing debt, not only to Americans living today but to our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We must destroy the power of the secret combinations among us before they destroy us.