The Corner

What Keeps Robert Up at Night?

Robert Agostinelli, founder of Rhône Capital and friend of freedom and NR, answers this question in a recent column for the Washington Times, based on a question he was asked after a speech at the U.S. Naval War College:

Our $14 trillion debt ignores the liabilities of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. When those are fully accounted for before taking into account the cost of Obamacare, our real national liability is $75 trillion.

This is, of course, a static assessment and ignores the ultimate risk to national security. As a debtor nation, we have become reliant not on domestic savings, but on foreign sovereign wealth to keep us afloat.

Yes, this keeps me up at night, for the implications to freedom should be obvious to all. Rep. Paul Ryan is correct: We have reached the tipping point; we are actually beyond.

Mr. Obama’s populist appeal to “reason” is a calculated lie. He speaks of “cutting the entitlements we cannot afford” and simultaneously is taking control of a quarter of our gross domestic product through Obamacare. His call for tax increases for the rich to “pay their fair share” is a polemic, which will further strangle growth. His unwillingness to consider tax reform is the same, for he knows that any promise of future reform based on an increase in taxes today will never come about. He also knows that any momentary cut in government expenditure is a small price to pay to achieve the endgame of centralization.

We have but one path forward. We must take back our destiny and speak reason to the Obama heresy.

Real leadership must forevermore renounce the entitlement regime that has been imposed on our nation.

We have a duty to continue to provide these benefits for the older generations who have become too reliant on the “drug” and will not have the earning power or time to correct the habit. As the Ryan plan recommends, we must begin to turn to the private sector the decision-making and alternatives for each of these obsolete and imprisoning programs.

Further consistent with the will of the people, Obamacare must be repealed. Its structure and tentacles of control are the ultimate assault on our way of life.

Legislative action is, of course, the preferable route, but pending litigation is sure to make its way to the Supreme Court, where the individual mandate should be deemed what it is: an expansion of federal power under the commerce clause never contemplated by the Founders. Like Mr. Ryan’s plan, federal Judge Roger Vinson’s opinion that Obamacare is unconstitutional is staring right into the barrel of Mr. Obama’s duplicity. This is why his only response is one of haughty taunts aimed at the Ryan plan and brazen disregard of a federal court order on behalf of 26 states to halt the implementation of his plan.

Finally, in tandem with this shift must come a focus on growth. Myopic witch hunts of capitalists merely serve to validate the ignorance of the laws of economics and feed the fear-mongering and misdirection techniques so loved by all tyrants from time immemorial.

Corporate tax rates must be slashed and special-interest advantages removed. Personal tax rates, capital gains and inheritance taxes need to be cut and regulation of business activity relaxed. From Sarbanes-Oxley to the moronic Dodd-Frank law, they must all be unwound to make us competitive again.

These would be radical shifts away from recent policy. Moreover, they would confront — front and center — the slow drip-feed of socialism and its forbidden fruit of entitlement largesse meant to swallow our freedom incrementally. The moment is now. The job of those brave warriors of the War College is to defend freedom. Ours as citizens is to insure that our leadership preserves it as well. If we achieve this, I finally will sleep peacefully at night.

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