Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Land of the unfree

Today is Independence Day. On July 4, 1776 we boldly declared independence from Great Britain and fought a war to make it happen. Every American should take the time to read the Declaration of Independence.

Perhaps then they will realize that the freedom that our forefathers fought for is long gone. By almost any measure, we were more free as British colonies than we are today. Once upon a time, the Founding Fathers fought a war when the government tried to impose taxes of a few cents on the dollar. Now, we meekly accept a government that steals half of what we earn. The government is just waiting to punish you for all sorts of imaginary crimes, like riding in a car without a seat belt, sell a gun to a friend in another state, installing a toilet that uses "too much" water, delivering first class mail, or even buying decent fireworks.

As usual, Congressman Ron Paul nails the issue:

One point of consternation to our founding fathers was that the king had been “imposing Taxes on us without our Consent.” But 230 years later, taxation with representation has not worked out much better.

Indeed, one has to wonder how Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin would react to the current state of affairs. After all, they were outraged by mere import tariffs of a few pennies on the dollar. Today, the average American pays roughly 50 percent of their income in direct and indirect taxes.

In fact, most Texans will not start working for themselves for another week. Texans, like most Americans, work from January until early July just to pay their federal income taxes, state and local taxes, and the enormous costs of regulation. Only about half the year is spent working to pay for food, clothing, shelter, or education.

It is easy to simply blame faceless bureaucrats and politicians for our current state of affairs, and they do bear much of the blame. But blame also rests with those who expect Washington DC to solve every problem under the sun. If the public demanded that Congress abide by the Constitution and pass only constitutional spending bills, politicians would have no choice but to respond.

Everybody seems to agree that government waste is rampant and spending should but cut—but not when it comes to their communities or pet projects. So members of Congress have every incentive to support spending bills and adopt a go-along, get-along attitude. This leads to the famous compromises, but the bill eventually comes due on April 15th.

Our basic problem is that we have lost sight of the simple premise that guided the actions of our founding fathers. That premise? The government that governs least is the government that governs best.

When we cut the size of government, our taxes will fall. When we reduce the power of the federal bureaucracy, the cost of government will plummet. And when we firmly fix our eyes, undistracted, on the principles of liberty, Americans truly will be free. That should be our new declaration.
Perhaps some day we will have a new birth of freedom.

2 comments:

Matthew Moss said...

Does it!

A.J. said...

I hate to say it, because I have a newfound disgust towards Rep. Paul, but he is accurate here. If you hadn't told me who it was, I would think Reagan or Pence had written this.