The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. Thomas Jefferson, May 27, 1788
We have seen an unprecedented growth of government in the last few months, both in spending and regulations. And as government increases, personal freedom decreases, and government debt grows.
The Ground Gained: Government in the Economic Sector
Bank Takeovers. The federal government has infiltrated the banking sector by using the emergency bank bailout fund TARP as a $700 billion government slush fund to bail out more banks, insurance companies and more. These bailouts have been used as an excuse for the government to control how these private firms are managed. Amazingly, until pressured recently, the government did not even allow these firms to return the money and regain their independence!
In addition, the White House has announced new financial regulations that will limit risk and innovation, and set the stage for future bailouts of big banks. These new rules would allow bank regulators to seize and close down any financial institution in the country without the involvement of Congress or the courts.
Government-Run Health Care. Liberals in Congress and the Obama Administration have also announced plans for a new government-run health care system, complete with a government-run health insurance plan, and a federal Medical Advisory Council to determine the coverage offered by private health insurance plans. Proposals such as these will lead to a crowding out of the private market of health insurers and result in a single payer system.
Intrusive Environmental Regulations. The Obama Administration and liberals in Congress both have their hearts set on enacting a cap-and-trade system where the federal government caps the amount of carbon dioxide that can be produced and requires energy companies to buy permits if they go above the limit. The permit price is then passed on to consumers in higher energy costs, taxing anyone who uses gasoline, electricity, and natural gas or oil.
The Liberty Yielded: Less Freedom, More Debt and Taxes
Less Personal Freedom. As the government encroaches into more and more arenas, more and more decisions will be made by the government, and not by individuals. Decisions about health care what procedures to have and what medication to take will be decided by a government bureaucrat, and not you and your doctor. Environmental regulations will determine what kind of materials your house can be made of, and what type of cars are allowed to be sold. And bank regulations will pick winners and losers in the economy often rewarding companies that have made poor decisions, or worse, those with political connections.
More Taxes. All of these new programs do not come without a price, and they must be paid for somehow. Per household, federal spending has more than doubled since 1965. Taxes have grown in an attempt to compensate for our spending. American households are sending more of their income to Washington, even with the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. For 2008, the average household paid $21,616, well above the historical average of $16,334.
More Debt. But taxes can not cover the costs of our ever-expanding government. Four years ago, our debt was below $8 trillion. A year later, the national debt reached $9 trillion. Last October, it reached $10 trillion. And before the end of the year, we will surpass $12 trillion thats a growth of $2 trillion in debt, in one year!