Ed Feulner says our current situation reminds him of one of the great moments of television history.
Twenty-five years ago, Geraldo Rivera hosted a greatly hyped TV special called â€œThe Mystery of Al Caponeâ€™s Vaults.â€ It still stands as one of the highest-rated programs in television history.
On the ballyhooed night, cameras crept through the tunnel to the vault. There, on live TV, workers pulled down the concrete wall. The dust settled, and the cameras peered inside. And what did spellbound viewers behold? A pile of dirt, a few empty gin bottles and a discarded stop sign. Such were the treasures in Al Caponeâ€™s vault.
A quarter-century later, this serves as a wonderful metaphor for the grand project of progressivism. Since the dawn of the 20th century, progressives have foretold the blessings they would deliver. Ordinary citizens lack the wits to govern themselves, they said, so letâ€™s put an elite cadre of progressive managers on the case. Give them power, and they soon would have things humming – a chicken in every pot, a Chevy in every garage.
When progressives gained power, they served us the New Deal and Social Security, followed by helpings of the Great Society and Medicare/Medicaid. Now theyâ€™re jamming the Obama smorgasbord down our throats – Obamacare, bailouts, stimulus packages, Government Motors and â€œquantitative easing,â€ a.k.a. printing money.
That isnâ€™t all. Far from it. For decades, public-sector labor unions harnessed progressivismâ€™s spread-the-wealth creed to extract lavish contracts from government. Workers won guarantees of lifetime health care and generous pensions, often without having to contribute a penny from their own above-market wages.
But instead of simmering in their progressive pots, the chickens are flocking home to roost. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are going broke and, if not reformed, will soon devour the entire federal budget, chickens and all.
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