As every element of modern life moves towards more customization and individual empowerment, government stands alone as the only major entity moving in the opposite direction. And liberals, (i.e., Democrats and some Republicans), are its only salesmen.
Innovation and new technologies have led to increasingly rapid advances in products and services that are centered around consumers and their personal preferences. These changes in turn have upended existing industries and business models and created new ones, the result being that many of today’s biggest and most innovative companies or services, (such as Facebook, Google, i-Tunes, YouTube, etc.), didn’t even exist (or just barely) when the War on Terror began in 2001.
Computers continue to get better, smaller, faster and cheaper, with multitudes of customizable options. Phones have evolved into a combination of phone, stereo, camera, camcorder, TV and hand-held computer – all at a fraction of what only one of those individual devices used to cost, much less all of them.
The winner in this sea change is of course the consumer, who gains access to more choice and better quality at a lower cost.
But then there’s government, which continues to become more expensive, bloated and uniform, rather than innovative, primarily because it has what it doesn’t allow businesses to have: a monopoly.
It has become fashionable lately for those in the media as well as the political class to ponder over the question of whether or not our political system is “broken”. Most recently we have seen this in the course of the debate over whether or not (and by how much) to raise our country’s national debt ceiling. From the lowliest scribe all the way up to Obama himself, references to “broken” or “dysfunctional” government have been everywhere.
But are they right? Is government truly broken? In short, the answer is yes, but not in the sense that liberals would have everyone to believe.
Our federal government is not broken because of any recent events or failure to compromise and “get things done” on anyone’s part. The breakage came under the crush of everything that has been heaped upon a system that wasn’t designed to carry its present load.
For the last sixty to eighty years liberals have worked to make Washington the epicenter of American political life and the arbiter of whether or not and how anything and everything can be done. In the process the federal government has appropriated power to itself that it wasn’t constructed to handle, and that is why it is broken.
Just as we spend time every July 4th to celebrate our nation’s independence and remember what our founding fathers accomplished, we should also stop to consider our current situation and ask ourselves if it truly represents the principles they fought for.
With each passing year it seems that those who appreciate liberty are fighting a continual rear-guard action to maintain those principles. And, more often than not, those battles are waged against the very government the founders created in order to secure our liberty. Just as it had for them, government has become the problem.
This is no accidental occurrence. Government has become the problem because it has metastasized like a cancer due to the overt actions of those who want to use government to command the rest of us to live as they see fit. To, as Jefferson put it, “press us at last into one consolidated mass”, with them of course creating the mold into which we are all to be pressed. It is the antithesis of liberty.
By and large, the people responsible for this have a name: liberals.
Military strategy dictates that if you decide “where” a fight will take place, then you will be able to choose the ground that is most favorable to you. The same holds true in politics.
As debate in Washington rages over the deficit, the debt and the debt limit, Republicans in Congress need to keep in mind that the table for the 2012 election is being set – and a fight over big, expensive government offers the GOP the perfect opportunity to choose their own ground.
The 2010 midterm elections offer some instruction on this point. According to a Gallup poll, that election set a modern day record for the highest percentage of people who claimed that they were “more enthusiastic” about voting just prior to election day, (53%). Further, it represented the largest “enthusiasm” gap between self-identified Republicans vs. Democrats – with 63% of Republicans saying they were more enthusiastic, vs. 44% of Democrats.
This begs the question, what were they excited about (or not)? Of course the answer is government – the new Obama brand of bigger, more intrusive and expensive government, to be specific. Republicans couldn’t wait to kick it in the teeth, and far fewer Democrats were interested in defending the policies of the man they so enthusiastically put in office just two years earlier.
Margaret Thatcher once said that, “the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money”. One could easily add that another problem is that the other people eventually want to get paid back.
It’s a problem that is becoming more real with each passing day. As the interest on that borrowed money consumes more of our nation’s economy, our options and our future will be increasingly limited. The result is a threat to our individual freedoms and economic liberty, and eventually even our national security.
In case you didn’t notice the barrage of taxpayer funded radio, TV, newspaper and internet ads, it’s census time again.
Yes, census time, that time that comes once every ten years when the government spends hundreds of millions of dollars telling us how important it is that we return that all important, overly nosey questionnaire.
In fact, it’s so important that the government sent me a letter telling me it was going to send me the census form a full week before it actually sent the form. Then it sent a post card a few days after the form arrived reminding me that it had sent the form – which makes one wonder whether this was actually some sort of stimulus plan for the Postal Service.
It didn't take long for those crusading for bans on public smoking to seize on the surgeon general's statement that there is no "safe" level of second-hand smoke as a rationale for such bans in the name of health concerns.
But to what extreme do you take the notion of "no safe level"?
Isn't it a lot like saying there's no such thing as a safe bacon double-cheeseburger? Could it be said that there is no such thing as a "safe" level of plaque in our arteries from eating fatty foods, and therefore fatty foods should be banned, or taxed (or their manufacturers sued)?
Given that far more Americans die from heart-related illness every year than from lung cancer, why pick on smoking? Because it annoys some people, that's why. I don't care for it either, but I tolerate it, much as you would tolerate being exposed to fat guys in bathing suits at the beach. (There ought to be a law!)
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