Smith: Funny money, pathetic policy

Smith: Funny money, pathetic policy

January 14th, 2013 By Robin Smith in Opinion Columns

Robin Smith, former Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party and congressional candidate.

Have you ever pondered why it's illegal to print counterfeit money?

It's because the influx of fake, worthless money devalues the existing currency that is deemed legal tender.

So why is it legal for the Federal Reserve to print more "legal tender" under the banner of "quantitative easing" which does the exact same thing, reduce the value of the currency in circulation?

Oh, and now because of spending-addicted politicians and citizens, corporations and organizations that refuse to cut their dependence on government funding, a "solution" being discussed (seriously) is to mint a trillion-dollar platinum coin to avoid default on our debt service.

Where to begin?

We're broke. As a nation and as a people, we are accepting the notion that a government can spend into perpetuity with no budget (the Senate has failed to produce a budget in all of the years Barack Obama has been president), expanding its liabilities and obligations, and refuse to make cuts. We are bankrupt.

The political banter, the talking points of the campaign, it's all pathetic. The few who attempt to address the need for a budget, to reign in spending, and to address the entitlement culture of the United States of America are scorned.

This idea for the U.S. Treasury to mint a coin valued at $1 trillion made of platinum to serve as proof of payment of our debts is stunning. I was speechless after reading a Business Insider article that advocated the new "change" based on the economic theory of John Maynard Keynes, often called Keynesian economics.

The Jan. 8, article discounted concerns about inflation and the devaluing of our currency: "... these complaints actually get at the crux of the matter. Creating money is exactly what government does. What's absurd for a private business is not absurd for the government. Keynes simply put it: 'Money is the creation of the state.'"

This online publication closes its piece by saying that a "serious debate about fiscal policy" begins as we "must first understand what money is, and how government gets it ... and any notion of the government running out is illogical."

Please embrace and understand this massive divide of reasoning. There are those of us who believe that the economy is driven by innovation, creation, spending, consuming, and all the aspects of the velocity of money that have been the basis of America's great prosperity, freedoms and individual opportunities for success.

The complete contrast is the growing belief that the economy is created by the government through its spending of the wealth taken from those who earn to give to those who don't earn or to benefit the selected "winners" of corporate welfare that buoy some to levels of advantage at the expense of others. Now, unashamedly, this same belief of redistribution is attempting to redefine the value and use of currency to justify entitlement and the death grip of debt.

Still, amazed.

As the new "crisis" faces our "leaders" in Washington, D.C., in the next few months (or whichever installment of drama), we're faced with a simple choice. Will those who work continue to do so in hopes that the Entitlement Nightmare will turn back to the American Dream? Or, in absolute weariness and resignation, will the belief prevail that money can be printed at limitless levels for unlimited and unbudgeted spending to care for the masses with no need or requirement to work and achieve?

The funny money has led to pathetic policy ... so has the lack of a species with a backbone in the political arena.

Robin Smith is a wife and mother living in Hixson. She served as chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican Party from 2007 to 2009.