The People's Money: How Voters Will Balance the Budget and Eliminate the Federal Debt by Scott W. Rasmussen

Article Type: 
Book Review
Published Date: 
Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Peoples' Money: How Voters Will Balance the Budget and Eliminate the Federal Debt by Scott Rasmussen is a good book to initiate us as concerned citizens to the nuts and bolts of the process of getting the government budget balanced and the federal debt eliminated. The author, a well-known, respected pollster and regular commentator on the speaking circuit, has written about the pitiful state of American finances and proposes a blueprint about how we can The People's Money by Scott Rasmussencorrect the problems and restore fiscal sanity.

He postulates that the American people are willing to make the necessary compromises, reduce government spending, eliminate the federal deficit, etc.  — only that the politicians lie to us blaming Americans for not supporting the cuts in government spending that are necessary. I wish it was really that simple!

Mr. Rasmussen's fiscal information, statistics, and dire warnings are right on target, but his prescription for curing the illness, and his rationale and methods for solving the economic ills of the nation are dangerous. One cannot run a government by the whim of the public opinion polls of the moment, or ignore the constitution because of fickle, momentary public opinion trends.

The American voters today are a shifty electorate, subject to the passions and whims of the moment and to media indoctrination, including the way pollsters themselves frame questions, which are leading voters down the path of feel-good socialism.

The truth, as SAT scores, academic studies, and even public opinion pollsters in the streets show, the average American is not as well-informed and civic-minded as he once was!

We need a limited government shackled by the chains of the constitution, as prescribed by Thomas Jefferson, whom the author quotes in a different context. And this needs to be done, along with restoration of strict constitutional governance, but we do not need to rule by momentary, shifty and trendy public opinion polls!Newsweek Cover — We Are All Socialists Now

Despite the polling booth and changes in administrations, we are moving relentless toward reckless government spending and insolvency as Mr. Rasmussen enunciates, but we are also marching perilously down the path of socialism in America.

What Mr. Rasmussen also refrains from telling us in his book is that there is a serious disconnect between those who are footing the bills for most of the federal (and state) spending and those who are not. Moreover, those who are not contributing are an increasing number of voters, who do not care about balancing the budget or the federal deficit, but do have a personal stake in making sure the government continues to supply the benefits and services paid for by others. He does not even use the word "socialism," and "wealth redistribution" is used only once in a neutral context.

Consider the fact that according to 2009 IRS figures — 10% of upper earners are paying 70% of all federal income taxes, and 40% are paying 90% of all federal taxes; 51% of Americans are paying no federal taxes and yet they vote! Moreover, recent polls also show that 50% of Americans see nothing wrong with the use of taxation and government spending in achieving wealth redistribution.

This wealth redistribution percolates through all federal programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and a myriad of alphabet soup agencies, entitlements, and benefits paid by the 40% pulling the cart for the other 60% riding it.

Proud Socialists MarchSo the fiscal problems today are of monumental proportions because those urgings for more social spending are often those not paying the bills. And no matter how much is spent, those same citizens clamor for more. To make matters worse, the media, which have been shown to clearly possess a penchant for liberal bias by such authorities as William Rusher in the 1980s(1) and Bernard Goldberg(2,3) in the last few years, does not look the other way when the politicians try to curb government spending. Who has not heard the clamors — e.g., the politicians are going to "cut school lunches for the children," or that the politicians plan to "cut Medicare benefits for the elderly"; well, you get my drift.

The truth is the politicians fear the liberal media, and they are very sensitive to public opinion as molded and presented by the media "progressives," whether based on perception or reality.

And therein lies the problem: Voters who are increasingly spending other people's money via the power of government and who are supported by the media, who believe they are correcting social or economic inequalities. Until this problem of egalitarianism and "fairness" is corrected, no economic blueprint will solve the fiscal irresponsibility dilemma in which we are mired.

As Sir Alex Fraser Tytler (University of Edinburgh [1714-1778]} succinctly stated: "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy collapses over loose fiscal policy...always followed by a dictatorship."


1) Rusher, WA. The Coming Battle for the Media, Curbing the Power of the Media Elite. New York, NY, William Morrow & Company, 1988.

2) Goldberg B. Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News. Washington, DC. Regnery PUblishing, 2001.

3) Goldberg B. Arrogance: Rescuing America from the Media Elite. New York, NY. Grand Central Publishing (formerly Warner Books), 2003.

Written by Dr. Miguel Faria

Dr. Miguel A. Faria is the author of Vandals at the Gates of Medicine- Historic Perspectives over the Battle for Health Care Reform (1994), a work still relevant in the coming battle over the Constitutionality of ObamaCare.

Copyright ©2012 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., MD

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Comments on this post


This week we've had the opportunity to see that Debt clock ticking away at the convention. That was one of the most ingenious things they could have done to draw attention to the main topic in this country, the Economy.

I have been most impressed with the speakers. Condoleeza Rice and Paul Ryan are walking testimonies of what happens in a Free Country. No matter our humble beginnings;it's where we're going that counts.

I must admit I've been brought to tears this week on a couple of occasions. I have reminisced all the words My daddy taught me from the time I could walk or talk. "There's nothing I can't do if I'll put my mind to it; Never give up; If it's worth having it's worth fighting for; and NEVER allow anyone to run over me"!

I see all those same qualities in Paul Ryan, Ms. Rice, Rubio, Christie. Character at its best. I am proud of each of them and I'm proud of my country. America has NEVER given up.

But the past four years of Obama has changed a lot of that. There is no faith in our country; we have no leadership, and the U.S. is in debt BEYOND the danger point!

I've made the comment that Mitt Romney will win the upcoming election and I do believe that. However, he will not win if there is any unlawful or underhanded techniques used to 'manipulate the election'; as Obama has manipulated our country's financial status. We are in deep trouble and cannot afford four more years. Within the first 18 months of another Obama era our country will be no more; I'm convinced.

I hope I won't be forced to eat my words on Romney. But I believe more and more people are seeing that without a Romney win in November America will not exist; at least not as we know her.

A ray of sunshine

Thanks for your excellent post, uneed. I agree 100%! Watching the RNC this week has been like seeing a bright ray of sunshine dawning on the horizon in what has been an extremely overcast, cloudy and dreary sky for three years now.

Yes we are seeing our future

Yes we are seeing our future leadership forming right now at the RNC. The younger men and women are now beginning to shine and come forth.
They will be a breath of fresh air. Romney 'looks' Presidential. Ryan is vibrant,smart and one can tell by listening ;he is a strong family man.

I believe with Romney/Ryan we can turn our country. It is going to be hard. We will have to make sacrifices in many areas. But it is necessary and we can do it;if our country is more important than politics.

A cri de coeur!

All government programs remain bursting at the seams with fraud, waste and abuse, not to mention political corruption! The economy under President Obama has still a long way to go but, with a press and lapdog news media who have relinquished their touted responsibility of objectively reporting the news– little criticism is heard.

Consider the converse treatment when a Republican is president! The media have become shameful cheerleaders for the Obama administration, treating the president as an enlightened despot, so what can we expect? Waste, Fraud, and Abuse, certainly not the transparency we were promised!

The real estate market has floundered and continues to worsen, in the doldrums, many Americans have lost their nest eggs for retirement– their homes...foreclosures remain in the stratosphere... but for the lapdog media everything is rosy and will get better because Obama is at the helm– of the titanic!

Gas remains doubled what it was when he became president and Obama has refused to let America drill or even transport more of our oil (i.e, the Keystone pipeline) , so we depend on our enemies...And Canada may sell her oil to China, while China may drill around the beautiful coasts of Cuba...The War against the environment there may no longer be silent:

The budget deficit continues to climb with profligate government spending on the backs of productive taxpayers... The national debt has ascended to astronomical heights endangering the future welfare of our children. China owns a big chunk of US securities and so do other countries...

Unfunded liability of Medicare alone is $85 trillion, more than 8 times the total annual output of the U.S. economy! The deficit is not $15 trillion– but between $60 and $120 trillion, over $400,000 per every citizen, children included (Michael Tanner, Cato Institute)!

Our country is falling into a financial black hole because of profligate programs initiated and carried out and implemented to maintain the liberal plantation of dependency!

And while it is true the media has reluctantly reported some of this, there is a big difference in reporting and then giving breathing room to the president to recover by dwelling on innate, bubble-head celebrities, sport figures and trivialities. But what a difference, when it comes to reporting the "misdeeds" of Republicans! In that reverse political scenario, they become cynical pit bulls. Consider the treatment of Nixon (Watergate), Reagan (Iran-Contra), George W. Bush ("WMD not found!"), etc. They were given no such respite but they were hammered continuously as to hamper their presidencies! The Scandal of Attorney General Eric Holder and ATF– i.e.,"Fast and Furious," guns for Mexican war lords, so they can be traced back to the USA and then have a venial pretext to resume the push for gun control against American lawful gun owners– has been reported with great reluctance and only after it was reported repeatedly by the alternative press and Gun Owners of America (GOA).

When is investigative journalism finally going to scoop the truth about Obama's socialism, or even report the news about his administration blunders, sell out, incompetence– or worse, I wonder? But "Treason doth never prosper: what 's the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason." Sir John Harrington (1561–1612), freedom philosopher of the early 17th century.

Fiscal Insanity and Socialism

Dear Dr Faria,

The People's Money is the book by Scott Rasmussen, the Pollster, who interviewed one million Americans, and the conclusions are simply amazing but understandable. He describes the divide between the Political Class and the People. The Political Class is out of touch with the voters, the people, and they are responsible for the corruption of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds, which instead of being used as fiscal reservoirs to pay for approved entitlement, were raided to pay for other causes.

This precedent also affected highway and other infrastructure legislation. The general unrestricted spending of Congress also aids favorite special interests. The obvious result is that this type of thinking concentrates Power in the politicians, which creates and reinforces socialism.

I agree with your review of Mr Rasmussen's book. You do a great job I admire, but to me what the book, by a pollster, represents is what the public actually believes and what they would actually do if they were empowered. We must remember he interviewed one million people.

Your point about the people deciding is a good one, but what he is saying to me is that the people have lost total faith in the government. I, too, noticed he did not mention the word socialism. But the impressive point was what the people actually believed and desire. No surprise there, the press is telling us a different story, which indicates how out of sync the "Political Class," as he puts it, is with the "People." That is government not by consent of the governed but by the mandates of Socialism.

Remarks sent to me by Dr James Ausman, Editor-in-Chief of Surgical Neurology International (SNI), a peer reviewed, on-line neuroscience journal par excellence.