Monday, April 18, 2005
Principles of Conservatism: Limited Government
Look to Yourself, and Your Community First!
We have an enormous and growing government. Almost half the workers in the US are directly or indirectly employed by the local, State or US government. This should not be so. There seems to be a direct correlation between the percentage of government workers and the percentage of taxes I have to pay.
What has happened is that many legislators, have responded to their constituents without serious evaluation, and have passed laws that have turned needs into rights, and rights into long-enduring, even timeless entitlements and sinkhole projects. President after President has tried to curb government agencies and projects, only to find that by some means they survive and grow still.
In this massive growth there are many dangers, not the least of which is the encroachment of government regulations and laws on our everyday life, freedoms, and activities. Small businesses today face a huge task to keep up with the paperwork demanded by an array of agencies from local to national, each of which is pursuing a piece of the law. It is a nightmare.
With so many stakeholders in government largess, it becomes harder and harder to move away from high spending and deficits.
What is it that is essential to government? What are the minimums that we should strive to reach?
National defense and home security is an obvious and essential government function. (DOD)
Creating basic law and enforcing it is a second necessary function.
(Congress, Justice, Courts, Police, and Prisons)
Foreign affairs, international trade, and aid to poorer countries is a valid function too. (State)
Control and management of our money supply and our banking system seems to be a necessity as well. (Treasury)
Regulation of interstate commerce has demonstrated its value to us. (Commerce)
Health, education and human welfare is a great need. (HEW)
Control and management of energy I would include. (FEC)
Control and management of communications also. (FCC)
Agriculture has been a significant absorber of funds for generations. It was the basis for our economy for a long time. Today its functions seem to have been subverted to dispensing largess from the government and taxpayer to large agricultural corporations, and not the shrinking number of small farmers remaining. Perhaps it should be massively redirected and shrunk itself. (DA)
Why do we need an environmental control agency? Why isn’t that function a proper part of every agency’s job, each from its own aspect? The EPA has usurped many of the rights of individuals in the name of environmental correctness, without materially contributing to our welfare, but it still has a growing budget. It is laughable the contortions gone through to save some obscure bug from extinction. Species die and others are created all the time. What makes the current set so special that the average person has to be hit with more taxes and more inconveniences or even confiscation of property for some inconsequential species to survive?
This tirade for limiting government could march itself through every organization we have now and propose major redirections and cuts that would most likely solve both the national debt and social security insolvency all at once, or at least within a few years. Yes, we would have to work smarter in many areas to make up for what had been done in government or for government, but the economy would get a tremendous boost in the process, and many jobs would appear as a result.
Conservatives think in terms of limiting government, limiting taxes, and maximizing freedoms.
The old saying "He who governs least governs best" is true.