Reading Jon Strug's letter sends shivvers down my spine. Its disturbing
to think that the role of government as portrayed in Strug's letter may
sit well with a large segment of the American population. With the
deteriorating public awareness of the origins of free government, we
present Strug's letter and offer our response point-for-point.
Re: Michael Baier's Jan. 12 letter. (From the Northwest Herald)
Baier, the version of "big government" to which I subscribe actually
pays for itself.
My "big government" is a government that protects people from the abuses
of polluters, banks, employers and insurance companies.
My "big government" takes the taxes of the rich and invests in jobs that
create more consumers who create more wealth for everyone, not just the
top 1 percent.
My "big government" helps people not only because we have a Christian,
moral or human obligation to do so, but because when everyone does
better, everyone does better.
President Franklin Roosevelt believed that the poor shouldn't have to
depend on the kindness of strangers. The era of small government ended
when he became the Democratic presidential nominee.
I wouldn't have to explain my version of big government, because my son
believes that it's right to help everyone.
To explain today's big government and all the debt it has accrued, I
would say, "Greedy, selfish people took control of government through
lies and manipulation and used it to finance their friends."
My question to you is: What do you get with small government? Do you
have to help shovel the streets? Are stop signs optional? Is harming
your neighbor voluntary?
Point 1: There is no such thing as "government that pays for itself".
Government is not a profit center. By its nature, government is always
an expense of the public. As government grows, it changes from a
"necessary expense" to an exploitation mechanism.
Point 2: The role of small government, not big government, is to protect
opportunity. Big government adds forcible redistribution of wealth,
forcible demographic engineering (tax breaks for homeowners and hybrid
cars), and confiscation of fundamental lifestyle decisions (ex.
retirement, education, work relations.)
Point 3: The "rich" actually make themselves richer by engaging in the
very practices Strug falsely attributes to government. They routinely
invest their income into additional business ventures that create jobs
and wealth for a large middle class. Big government wastes taxes on
dubious foreign aid, cronyism, and studies of bumblebee mating habits.
Point 4: Big government harms, not helps people. A person taxed out of
$10,000 has $10,000 less with which to buy products to create beneficial
jobs, $10,000 less with which to provide direct aid to others, and
$10,000 less with which to raise a family. Big Government takes the
$10,000, wastes $7,500 of it, and provides $2,500 in aid to people who
may or may not deserve aid. Big government robs taxpayers of the right
to decide who needs and deserves their help.
Point 5: FDR preferred that the poor depended on the government, his
government. His policies did not reduce or eliminate any dependencies,
they merely centralized them.
Point 6: Just because your son believes its "right to help everybody"
does not give him the right to impose this morality on an entire
nation, nor does it mean we all share the same idea of what constitutes
"helping", who deserves our help, or how much help.
Point 7: It is true that "Greedy selfish people took control", but this
is not an anomaly. The Founding Fathers understood that any government
of man could ultimately not be trusted, which is why they worked so
hard to limit its power and prohibit direct taxation by the federal
government (overridden by the 16th amendment). Mikhail Bakunin warned
Karl Marx that big government Communism would ultimately lead to
totalitarianism, since it would be impossible to prevent big
government from falling into tyranny. Greed, selfishness, lies, and
manipulation are an inseparable part of Big government.
Point 8: What do you get with small government? The greatest national
ascendancy in modern history. You get freedom, self determination,
opportunity, and prosperity. Big government gave us the Third Reich,
the Soviet Union, Cuba, and North Korea. The Founding Fathers were not