The orgy of deficit spending we’ve witnessed over the past year is an explicit judgment that America doesn’t have a future. Its unborn children will be handed the bill for the needs of today, plus a back-breaking load of interest. Allowing the national debt to equal our annual gross domestic product, as in President Obama’s staggering 2010 budget, means accepting the insult that America is too weak to stand without support from its grandchildren.

Follow the premise of socialism to its conclusion, and ask yourself why the government shouldn’t achieve 100% employment by conscripting every single citizen, and eliminate “social injustice” by providing for all of their needs. Why shouldn’t your income be paid in coupons, earmarked by the wise and benevolent State for food, medicine, housing, and leisure? The answer is that a command economy can’t produce value, allocate resources, or nourish the ambitions of its people with a fraction of capitalism’s vigor or efficiency. The value of government scrip could never equal the value of a dollar. Instead of helping its people realize their potential, a socialist government must invest an increasing amount of its energy into compelling their obedience. What capitalism hails as innovation, socialism punishes as impertinence.