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Monday, February 21, 2011

What's the big deal about Big Government?

If you listen to any news program - radio, television, Internet - for any length of time, you will hear someone complaining about big government and someone else justifying it. That is the world we live in right now.

Rabbit hole #1: Why is Internet capitalized? Aren't radio and television important anymore?

My name is Xanthorpe and I used to watch Fox News.

There. I said it. Is this how folks who abuse drugs or alcohol feel when they finally admit a dependence?

Frankly, I can't much stand to watch any news program on television these days. I remember when I was a kid and trustworthy newscasters like Chet Huntley and David Brinkley were on the tube every night. And Walter Cronkite. If it came out of Walter's mouth, it was gospel.

Rabbit hole #2: Don't you hate it when people begin a sentence with Frankly or Honestly? Does that mean everything else they've said isn't true?

So what's the problem with big government? Here's my theory:

We don't trust the people who can afford to serve their country without drawing a salary to make the right decisions for us.

Conversely, we don't seem to trust anyone running for office who we have never heard of and who doesn't have much money. They're just not electable. Whatever that means.

I can certainly understand our reticence toward letting the Rockefellers of the world run our country unchecked. History is rife with examples of the privileged few exercising said privilege for their own benefit when put in positions of power.

And I can appreciate that we don't want Joe Schmoe off the street being given the keys to the nuclear car, so to speak. Heaven forbid we elect ol' Joe and after watching a Hannity and O'Reilly marathon he's all heated up and decides to push the button.

But isn't there a happy median? Not any more, apparently. Listening to NPR the other morning, the resident political pundits opined that 2012 could be the first election in history where both major party candidates have at least $1 billion to spend on the presidential campaign.


Upon hearing that report, a friend of mine wondered what would happen if one of those candidates offered to take a large chuck of that and put a down-payment against the national debt. I told him that's a nice idea and Mr. or Ms. Candidate might even get elected. But it's probably illegal to use campaign funds to pay down the national debt.

I'm just saying.

What does big government represent? To me, it's the federal government having so many employees that if we closed down unnecessary departments and trimmed the ones we needed to keep, it would make the nation's unemployment rate untenable.

Rabbit hole #3: Think flat tax and no need for thousands of IRS employees and private-sector loophole experts.

In other words, it (big government) is what we have now.

What else does big government represent? The power to tell states what to do. The power to tell the people of this country that they must buy health insurance and if they don't, they can be fined.

It's one thing to tell us we have to pay taxes. And I'm okay with that - if we're going to have a standing military and people at the federal level to handle international relations, trade, and all those sorts of things, I understand that it takes money and I'm prepared to chip in my fair share.

I'm even okay with the whole Social Security thing. It's kind of comforting knowing that I'll reap some small financial stipend from all those hard-working years. Maybe...

But for a government to tell me I have to buy health insurance? That's along the same lines as a government telling me I have to drive a particular kind of car because it's safer or that I can't eat pork rinds because they're bad for me.

Rabbit Hole #4: I don't really eat pork rinds - but I do eat bacon.

That kind of government is just a little too big for me.

What do you think?


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