Is Government the Solution?

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Never before have I seen times like these. Well, I'm not that old so maybe that's a good thing. This nation once saw government as the problem. Government was not to be trusted, and all politicians were crooks. Government was too big, government was too slow, government took too much of our money. But recently attitudes seem to have changed.

Government is now to be viewed as the source of our solutions. It is the all seeing eye. It is our guardian and savior. It is like the parent that you can always turn to when the rest of the world is turning its back. The government that was once too big now needs to grow and increase its oversight. The government that was to slow now needs to act quickly to save our economy. But government that took too much of our money is now broke and is telling us that we either need to raise taxes or cut the services. We like our government services so soon we may be begging for more taxation.

How did we get to this point? For generations, we wanted government to get off of our backs. The regulations were too nitpicky. The reach of government's hand was too intrusive. It invaded our privacy, it invaded our homes. It influenced our choices in what we thought was a free society. Yet we have gotten to the point where we believe government is doing us a favor when we have to register with the pharmacist to get cold medicine which we could formerly buy freely. The pharmacist has become in effect the government for us and yet we think that is a good thing. We have come to believe that it's for our own good and it is helping society.

The speed of government has become atrociously slow. Passing laws and enforcing policies has gotten so painfully slow, it's hard to think of any laws that had gotten passed in the past legislative sessions. This is not only evident at the national level but also at the state and local. However, in this current financial crisis we are expecting warp speed for passage of the bailout bill that will repair the economy and get our lives back to normal. To this end, I say hold on. Whenever we expect Congress to spend 700 billion of our tax paid dollars we can't afford to do it too fast. The American people have demanded that some sort of bill get passed. And it will. Nevertheless, it is important to take some time to examine what is really going on.

Since the dawn of time, citizens used to be sickened at the thought of having to pay high taxes. This attitude also is beginning to wane. Governments have always been broke, schools have always needed more money, and the streets have always needed better repairs. Today we want to do it all. We want to do all of these services and pay people extraordinary months of money. We take the thought of believing that higher pay will give better government service to those who are of the providers. It works for a couple of people, after that, we get a bunch of overpaid government people who are lazy. After they've run out the clock on their careers, we pay them huge pensions. After guaranteeing a secure pension, governments find they cannot provide the services. Citizens get threatened with cuts in police protection and cuts in fire departments. Citizens become fearful that they will need a gun and a bucket and will have to pay for these themselves.

Yes, we can reminisce about the freedoms we used to have. We can reminisce about how we fought the forces of communism and socialism to preserve our freedoms that we think we still have. No, freedom is not free and we are quickly finding out that socialism is not cheap either.

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