How Big Should Government Be?

A government big enough to give you everything you want
is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.
— Gerald Ford, Joint Statement to Congress, August 12, 1974.

I had not heard this before two days ago (yes, I don’t know where I’ve been either.)  But it struck me.

We, as a people, are giving up more and more control over our daily lives to governments.  This is frightening.  It’s not about parties; both the GOP and the Dems are more than willing to take away your rights.  The Left wants to control what you think and say and eat and buy (a/k/a consumer protection) while the Right wants to read your emails and observe you 24/7 from drones in the name of protecting you from some hitherto unknown spooky terrorist (a/k/a personal protection or national defense.)

Both sides make the person, the individual, a slave to the government:

  • The Left would have the G provide you with housing, medical care, food, water, schooling, day care, or in other words everything you need for daily life.  And when you misbehave… well then the G can take all that away.
  • The Right would have the G provide you with constant protection from fear or the unknown, “Someone out there’s going to try to hurt you.”  Whether it’s a black kid in a hoodie, a terrorist organization, or rouge nukes, you need to let us into your personal lives so that we can keep you safe.

Both sides have killed personal responsibility in their own way.  We’re a nation of nit-wits waiting for the government to tell us that we’re going to be safe instead of protecting ourselves.  We get the government we deserve.