Skip to comments.A government limited to what?
Posted on 09/04/2002 11:06:40 AM PDT by RJCogburn
LIMITED GOVERNMENT. We hear that conservative mantra a lot, especially at election time. Shake a tree in southern New Hampshire this campaign season and chances are at least one Republican candidate for Congress will fall out, proclaiming limited government three times before touching the ground.
Its counterpart is never heard. No one campaigns, at least not openly, for unlimited, or absolutist, government. No, its always limited government. Limited government today, limited government tomorrow, limited government forever!
Somehow we never seem to wonder why, after years of electing candidates sworn to limited government, the government keeps growing in size and cost. The federal government is bigger and, at $2 trillion-plus and rising, a good deal costlier now than it was just seven years ago, when Republicans took control of Congress in the Republican Revolution. Its bigger and costlier than it was six years ago when that poster child for decadent liberalism, William J. Clinton, announced to the nation: The era of big government is over. Big government must have missed the news.
No one seems to notice that this limited government gag is as transparent as the emperors new clothes. We prefer not to notice, really. Its a lot easier to just go on believing in limited government and voting for those who say they do, too. The amazing thing is, we never even ask what ought to be the most obvious question: Limited to what?
Perhaps there was a time when Americans could assume, if they thought about it at all, that limited government meant a federal government that would do only those things it is authorized to do by powers granted in our federal Constitution. But limited government has been taken off the Constitution standard, just as the dollar was long ago taken off the gold standard. Limits on federal power have, like the value of the currency, been allowed to float. And theyre still floating.
Consider, for example, the two members of Congress now competing in New Hampshire for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, Sen. Bob Smith and Rep. John Sununu. Each comes to the voters with impressive conservative credentials. Both get high ratings from all the right organizations. They get Friend of the Taxpayer Awards and ratings above 90 percent from organizations like the American Conservative Union and Citizens Against Government Waste. Theyre both A students, which suggests the currency isnt the only thing thats been inflated.
In their televised debate last week, Smith and Sununu sparred over a prescription drug benefit as an expansion of Medicare. Neither spoke of the need to rein in the bureaucracy and streamline the approval process at the Food and Drug Administration, so the drugs might be less costly to produce. (Time is money, after all.) Each defended his vote in favor of the Bush-Kennedy-Gregg education reform, the No Child Left Behind Act, that allegedly increases local control in 1,184 pages of federal legislation. The scary part is that people who live and work in Washington can actually believe such nonsense.
In our Constitution of delegated powers, there is not one that remotely gives Congress any authority at all over the education of schoolchildren. So the only education reform conservatives should be championing, and the one way to truly increase local control, is the abolition of all federal education programs. But why do that when you can pass nearly 1,200 pages of federal rules and regulations to make local schools more accountable?
Smith charged that Sununu, having once pledged to support the abolition of the National Endowment for the Arts, voted with the Democrats to fund the agency. There are, alas, more than a few Republicans who have voted for that funding, as Smith well knows. And Smith lists among his accomplishments the securing of $500,000 of federal money for the renovation of the Palace Theatre in Manchester. Whether that money came from the NEA or some other agency, the principle is the same. Between them, these two men apparently see the subsidizing of artistic productions and the renovation of a local theater as federal concerns. And these are two of the most conservative members of the U.S. Congress.
Today, with a $2 trillion budget (in deficit by a $165 billion or so), being conservative means you never have to say, Were out of money. A representative or senator could say, if so inclined, that there is nothing in the Constitution that authorizes Congress to spend money on artistic productions or theater renovations. But even the most conservative members of Congress are more likely to be struck by lightning than by a thought of the Constitution. Perhaps its just as well.
The lightning might do some good.
More Limited Government
Now do you know why, despite our system of "checks and balances," few in positions of power are ever held accountable for misbehavior, misdeeds, high crimes and misdemeanors?
Perhaps now GOP conservatives understand why they are increasingly frustrated, disappointed and disenfranchised with the "Grand Ol' Party?" In reality, there isn't much difference between them and liberal Democrats each spend freely, limit personal freedom and derail liberty.
Is it any wonder why lawmakers refuse to hold agency heads responsible for their failures even failures as deadly and serious as Waco, Oklahoma City and 9-11? Who can prosecute a member of "the club?"
The fact is, regardless of the stated "political philosophy" of any given administration, nothing really ever changes in Washington, D.C. And it's because many of the most powerful people in our government are nothing more than recycled public servants.
It's The Elite Who Are Corrupt
"So the individuals who occupy these 7,000 positions of power are the elite who run the country. Therefore, it is the character of these members of the elite that will determine the character of the country. What you see in government policies, in cultural products and in education policies are the direct result of the decisions made by this relatively small elite.
History affirms this. The reason America did not follow the usual path of revolution to dictatorship was solely the result of the character of one man, George Washington. Washington could have easily made himself dictator, and many of the officers in his army wanted him to do just that. But Washington's character would not allow it.
When the elite who run a country have good morals and high standards, then you have a good country. If the elite become corrupt, you have a corrupt country. The vulgarity, profanity and violence you see in entertainment are there only because those individuals occupying the positions of power in the entertainment industry said "Yes." If they said "No," those things would disappear from the screens and the magazine racks.
Our problem is that most of our elite have become corrupted. Many are nihilistic and hedonistic. The leadership of a country always leads the masses, and they can lead them to high ground or into the swamps. And there's not much I can see that ordinary people can do about it."
"The difference between death and taxes is death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."
New Study on Antiterror Spending Is Fodder for Rival Camps - September 6, 2002
"Brian M. Riedl, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, the conservative research group, said the four fiscal years through 2003 were on track to be one of the periods of the highest spending in American history and that there was so far little political pressure to curb spending on either national security or social programs.
"Republicans and Democrats basically make a deal with each other `I'll vote for your increase if you'll vote for my increase,"' Mr. Riedl said. "As long as voters don't seem intent on punishing politicians for budget deficits, both parties feel they are in the clear."
Bush makes government more limited, Americans love socialism. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum keeps their hearts thumping for more
Limiting government with "paid" volunteers. Huh?
To: Kobyashi1942 Kobayashi wrote: "When all my Republican friends are crying in their milk on the day after the election I will remind them that there wasn't a dimes worth of difference between the winner, Gore and the neo-socialist G.W. Bush. " And when Gore appoints three Supreme Court Justices who will continue to devalue life and federalize more and more government, I will remind you that there WAS a difference between Bush and Gore. 6 Posted on 09/06/2000 08:17:29 PDT by sinkspur [ Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | Top | Last ]
Now that Bush has shown he would do the same even before he gets a chance to appoint anyone to the Supreme Court, this will be forgotten, I suppose.
On another issue, did you see this?
I wondered for many years and then the answer came to me about ten years ago. Republicans "buy" votes too.
George W. Bush and the GOP, working towards limited government
I mean, come on... Were giving Egypt ten point three BILLION dollars? Sheesh! A billion here, a billion there. Pretty soon you start talking about some real money.
I got kids in them there G-schools and you would be surprised what passes for history these days.
More is taught about America's place in the World Commune(ity) than our own history. When our own history is taught it is about slavery and the stealing of Texas, etc.
Such tripe as this exercise is taught, "Imagine your a girl in India. Describe what you would wear and what you would eat. Extra points will be given to all children who bring food that is eaten in India."