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In 1945 America was the world’s unchallenged economic superpower, and one of two military superpowers. We were the only country with nuclear weapons, and every other major nation was devastated by W.W. II. We also controlled half of the world’s GDP. That means we controlled half of the value of all goods and services produced on the planet.

For most of our country’s history, we were isolationist. People heeded George Washington’s warning to steer clear of permanent alliances with foreign powers, and for the most part, we limited our focus to the Americas. After W.W. II that all changed. We appointed ourselves leader of the free world and became entangled in a seemingly endless series of military conflicts to assert our world view.

Relative to other nations, we are approximately half as strong economically as we were in 1945 but that hasn’t stopped world-wide military intervention. We maintain military sites throughout the globe, and we’ve spent over a trillion dollars on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan alone. To put that in perspective, that’s over $3,000 for every man, woman and child living in America.

I think we’re at the point where we have to seriously consider a Federal balanced budget amendment. As long as our politicians feel they have a blank check to do anything, they won’t be able to fight the urge to play word policeman.

Every U.S. state except Vermont has some form of balanced budget amendment. Even Poland has enough sense to put a hard cap on their public debt. We’re smarter than Poland, right? Don’t make me change all of those Polack jokes to American jokes. I’ll do it.

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