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Requiem for a republic - Mike Reagan

It is not true that grown men don't cry. I'm grown and I'm on the verge of tears. A republic I have loved all my life is being murdered, and the crime is an inside job.

If you hear a whirring sound in the background, it is my dad, Ronald Reagan, who loved and served this nation, spinning in his grave as his latest successor plunges a carving knife into America's vital organs.

In his wildest dreams, Ronald Reagan never thought that a president of a United States, now in the throes of a serious economic crisis, would adopt a solution to the problems of our economy that would not only worsen the situation, but set in motion the beginning of a transition of the government of the United States from a Constitutional Republic into a coercive, quasi-Marxist regime, where Washington is the master of our people instead of their servant.

Let it be said loud and clear: Barack Obama's so-called stimulus bill, feverishly embraced by his sticky-fingered Democratic minions in the House and Senate (and three craven Republican senators), will not do a single thing to revive our ailing economy. Nothing.

Instead, it will put Washington's grasping hands into every nook and cranny of America's economic and social life, and bankrupt an already penurious nation for generations to come.

Think about it -- nearly a trillion dollars to be squandered on a host of pork-laden projects, payoffs to pet leftist groups and causes grasping for their share of the booty, and a few bucks to create jobs, mostly in the public sector.

A trillion dollars we don't have and will need to borrow from our grandchildren and their offspring. A trillion dollars created out of thin air that will drastically reduce the value of the dollars in our pockets in an orgy of runaway inflation.

It wasn't all that long ago that spending a billion dollars on government projects and programs was viewed with alarm. As the late Sen. Everett Dirksen once said, "A billion here and a billion there and pretty soon you're talking about real money."

A trillion dollars is $1000 billion, a sum that the imagination cannot comprehend.

If you could have spent a million dollars every day since Christ was born, you would not even come close to having spent a trillion dollars, yet Mr. Obama and his wastrel Democratic stooges on Capitol Hill have no qualms about spending that amount -- and more -- on programs that will do nothing to alleviate the current economic crisis, and, in many ways, will worsen it.

Have we forgotten what Thomas Jefferson warned us, when in 1791 he said, "To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. If we run into such debts, we [will then] be taxed in our meat and our drink, in our necessities and in our comforts, in our labor and in our amusements. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labor of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they [will] be happy."

Jefferson would have refused to believe that a free people would allow their government to saddle them and their children and grandchildren with a debt so enormous they could not even begin to comprehend.

Nor would he have even dreamt of the government wasting money on projects noted by former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr, such as a billion dollars to subsidize money-losing Amtrak, $20 billion to expand the already-bloated food stamp program, about $2 billion diverted from the wallets of hard-working Americans to subsidize childcare, and $2.8 billion to fund advocacy programs studying the global-warming hoax.

There's another $600 million for newer cars for government bureaucrats, $44 million to refurbish the Department of Agriculture, $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, $150 million to spruce up the Smithsonian buildings, and more than $400 million to promote anti-smoking programs and programs to fight sexually transmitted diseases.

That's what future generations of Americans will be paying for. I'm sure they'll thank us.

Mike Reagan, the elder son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is heard on radio stations nationally as part of American Family Radio. E-mail comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com.