THE GROWING POWER OF GOVERNMENT AND THE THREAT TO LIBERTY: ELECTION 2016

declaration of independence

OF A POST TO COME promised to compare the governing approaches of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton with respect to two issues.

  • The growth of the power of government.
  • The protection of our rights.

The Growth Of The Power Of Government

Why is it a problem when government is powerful? Government exists to protect our rights. Yet the power we give our government makes government itself a threat to our rights. Therefore, we must choose between giving the government just enough power and giving it too much.

  • To give our government the resources it needs to defend our rights, we must give our leaders the authority to tax us and spend our money. Nevertheless, the more we allow our government to tax and spend, the more we work for government instead of ourselves. At some point, we risk slavery.
  • Some decisions which effect a people must be made jointly. Thus, government must sometimes make decisions we would otherwise make for ourselves. So it is that in a nation of free men and women, we have laws that restrict us from harming each other (traffic laws, for example). In a nation of slaves, however, the laws just list a few trivial decisions that the leaders permit the people to make for themselves.

Here is a table that summarizes where the candidates stand.  Not certain the information is correct? Then check their web sites. I have only provided links where their positions are not available on their own websites.

ISSUE Donald Trump Hillary Clinton
Taxing and Spending Favors tax simplification and reduction Favors increased taxation and spending (inferred from lengthy list of proposals)
Healthcare Private market solution Doubling down on Obamacare
School Choice For School Choice. Will end Common Core Against School Choice. Favors Common Core.
Immigration Favors extreme vetting Open borders/put new immigrants on the dole
Government Regulations Committed to reducing regulations Defends the current regulatory regime
Free Trade Opponent of the big trade bills Helped to craft TPP

To be continued: The Protection Of Our Rights

HAVE YOU BEEN DISTRACTED FROM THE ISSUES THAT MATTER?

newsThink about how odd it is. We elected a black president, and he promised to bring us all together. With his election, we would finally see an end to racism. Instead, the people who were supposed to end racism won’t let it die.

Here is how it has been going down.

  • Some white guy kills some black guy. In the last couple of big news stories, the supposedly killer white guys have been policemen.
  • The news media screams the supposedly murderous killing is about RACISM.
  • This president and his justice department do their absolute best to prove it is about RACISM.
  • Then the evidence slowly trickles out through the alternative news media (See 11 Facts About the Eric Garner Case the Media Won’t Tell You, for example.), and we find out it is just about self defense.
  • The news media moves on to the next racial expose.

So why is the corporate news media doing this? Why is the Obama administration helping to make national stories out what should be local stories? Why make so much effort to stir up racial animus?

Consider how a magician does his tricks.

Magicians use distraction techniques to draw the audience’s attention away from whichever hand is engaged in sleight of hand. Magicians can accomplish this by encouraging the audience to look elsewhere or by having an assistant do or say something to draw the audience’s attention away. (from here)

The same technique is used in warfare. Here is an example appropriate to the anniversary of our entry into World War II.

Operation Fortitude was the code name for a World War II military deception employed by the Allied nations as part of an overall deception strategy (code named Bodyguard) during the build-up to the 1944 Normandy landings. Fortitude was divided into two sub-plans, North and South, with the aim of misleading the German high command as to the location of the imminent invasion.

Both Fortitude plans involved the creation of fake field armies (based in Edinburgh and the south of England) which threatened Norway(Fortitude North) and Pas de Calais (Fortitude South). The operation was intended to divert Axis attention away from Normandy and, after the invasion on June 6, 1944, to delay reinforcement by convincing the Germans that the landings were purely a diversionary attack. (continued here)

Are we at war with our government? Are our leaders trying to deceive us?  If so, what we being distracted from? What are the stories we should be giving our attention?

Here are some examples.

Perhaps, instead worrying about policemen killing people when they violently resist arrest, we need to worry about our tax and spend crazy leaders. What are they doing to our country, and why are we letting them do it?

  • We had an economy that no one could surpass. We use to make things. Now we buy our computers from an authoritarian regime that clearly considers us a threat to its interest in conquest.
  • We use to assimilate new immigrants by insisting they become Americans. When immigrants came here, we expected them to work and learn English. Now we give them welfare and educate their children in their native tongue.
  • We use to have a president who honorably enforced the law, whether he liked that law or not. Now our president vetoes existing laws, and he calls that prosecutorial discretion.
  • When we did something stupid and made a situation worse — when we passed a law like Obamacare because people lied to us — we used to have the sense to repeal that bad law. Now we try to cover over the lies of the liars by “fixing” that bad law and pretend it just has a few flaws.

Why is it we act as if politicians always are right? Is the appropriate response to every government failure more government? If we are foolish enough to think such a thing, maybe we need to look at who educated us. Don’t politicians run our schools? Even though Opposition to Common Core spurs jump in homeschooling (www.foxnews.com), doesn’t the Federal Government want still more control?

Where does the Constitution give the Federal Government any authority over our education system? It is not there? Hummmm. Then why is the Federal Government taking more and more control over what we learn?

When we get lost, are we suppose to continue stumbling down the same unknown trail, or are we suppose to retrace our steps? Doesn’t it make sense to get back to a point where we knew our location? That’s the essence of Conservatism. When something doesn’t work, before we attempt to make any more improvements, we go back to what we know works.

 Addendum

Just in case you think our leaders don’t act when we are distracted, check out these stories.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration is not done yet. So when we are enjoying good meals with family and friends on Christmas and New Year, we can count on those meals costing us more than we know.

 

DEAR CONGRESSMAN, HERE IS WHY I VOTED FOR YOU

capitolThe general election of 2014 is over. The Republican’s party has had an overwhelming victory. Nevertheless, we know the polling. Republicans did not win because of their own popularity. They won because President Obama and the Democrats insist upon making a mess of our country.

Therefore, I have decided to send a letter to my congressman. I want him to know why I voted for him.

Dear Congressman Rob Wittman

I suppose you are happy and content with the results of this last election, but I hope not. We sent you back to DC to do some hard, difficult work, not to enjoy the fruits of a great victory. We sent you to war with a ravenous government that claws and grasps for revenue. We sent you tie up in knots any congressman who would spend more money than we have. We sent you to shackle the phone and the pen of a president thirsting for power.

I cast my vote for free enterprise, not more government. Why? In the 80’s I worked at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.  I went there as an advocate for increased spending for NASA. I came away as adamant opponent, someone who would have happily seen NASA scrapped. I had seen for myself that socialism does not work. That includes a socialist space program.

I recognize that some still pine away for the good old days, those days when the United States was the first to land a man on the moon.

Forty-five years ago last summer, Neil Armstrong and I walked on the moon. Our Apollo 11 lander touched down in the moon’s “Sea of Tranquility,” and three days later we were home. We splashed down and came safely aboard the USS Hornet. In that moment, America fulfilled a promise — to herself and to the World. Together, we resolved to lead in space, convey men to the moon and come home safely. As Americans, one nation, we resolved to do it, and we did it. The time has come to find that kind of resolve again. (from Getting on with getting to Mars by  Buzz Aldrin)

For forty-five years those who dream of exploring new frontiers have depended upon politicians to fulfill their dreams. We have been fools. Politicians have their own dreams, and they have nothing to do with space exploration. They never ever did. For the number of votes it buys, space exploration is too risky and costs too much. Moreover, government bureaucracies, even NASA, are populated by too many risk averse bureaucrats, not enough people with a dream.

I now know I cannot make my dream someone else’s dream. If I want my dream to become real, I must do the work myself with others who share my dream. Therefore, I now cast my vote for smaller government.

I cast my vote for a balanced budget. We cannot afford what Congress and the President want to spend. Since September 15, 2008, Congress has added over $12 trillion to the deficit (see How Much Obamanomics Has Cost Us by Stephen Moore).

I cast my vote for a strong defense. The United States still retains a strong military, but we face growing threats: a resurgent Russia, an increasingly belligerent China, and militant Islamic states. Yet too many of our leaders want us as weak as Europe, with a government that divert funds needed for defense into extravagantly expensive social programs, incapable of defending ourselves (see Europe’s sentinels have gone home by Bruce Lawlor).

I cast my vote for the resolute defense of our borders from illegal immigrants. It is no secret that our president wants to make law, not just enforce the law, that he would legalize millions of immigrants with a flourish of his pen. Thanks to a spineless Congress and out of control executive, we now risk becoming a bilingual banana republic ruled by a tyrant with a pen and phone. You know what the people of this country want done. Please find the courage to do it!

I cast my vote for an end to Obamacare. That law is blatantly unconstitutional. Repeal it first. Then we can worry about replacing it.

I could say more, but this is enough. So let’s summarize. When those in power insist upon spending other people’s money for them, politics becomes a blood sport, not fun and games. That’s why I did not cast my vote so that you could work with the president and the Democrats. I cast my vote so you could stop them and reverse their agenda, and I think it is safe to say that lots of other people voted the same way. Therefore, you now have a choice. I hope you will help lead the opposition to Obama and the Democrats. Otherwise, please follow those willing to lead that opposition, or just get out-of-the-way.

In times past, the Democratic Party defended slavery; they even sought to expand it into the territories and free states. Latter the Democratic Party fought for racial segregation. Now, in support of bigger and “better” government required to implement so-called social and economic “rights,” Democrats would enslave all Americans. That’s what socialists do.

The Republican Party began as a third-party before the Civil War. Because it refused to fight slavery, the party the Republican Party replaced is now long gone. Yet time corrupts all things and all institutions created by men. Therefore, unless we get involved in the Republican Party, we cannot depend upon the Republican Party to stop and reverse the damage the Democratic Party has done.

Do you favor the prosperity and freedom that comes with limited government and free enterprise? Did you reluctantly vote for a Republican who needs to be encouraged to defend freedom? Then please write him or her a note. Politely let your member of Congress know why you gave him or her your support. Then, if your member of Congress fails to do his or her duty, do your duty and help nominate another Republican to replace that delinquent.

WHY DO WE EXPECT BIG GOVERNMENT TO WORK?

ingodwetrustA Selfish Perspective

Because we are each unique, each of us perceives the world in our own way, and reach our own conclusions, even on the most basic questions. What questions matter the most? Ravi Zacharias (an expert in Christian apologetics) says there are Four Questions To Answer In Life.

  • Why am I here?
  • What is right and wrong?
  • What brings me meaning?
  • What happens to a human being when I die?

Are these the questions that matter the most to you? Some of you no doubt have your own list. Yet these questions provide a place to start. What if you had difficulty empathizing with another’s point-of-view. What if you see the world as revolving around you?

  • Why am I here? Answer: It is about me.
  • What is right and wrong? Answer: What I want is right; what I don’t want is wrong.
  • What brings me meaning? Answer: I exist to make the world serve my lusts and to acquire fame, fortune, and power.
  • What happens to a human being when I die? Answer: What matters is what I want NOW!

Loving The World

That Apostle John condemned such selfishness. He called it loving the world.

1 John 2:15-17 New King James Version (NKJV)

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

(Here and here are explanations of the passage above.)

When we become obsessed with the world, we lack empathy. We may be quite capable of manipulating others, but those others are merely objects, a means to an end. How does this self-centered perspective affect a selfish person’s attitude towards government? Consider a quote from President John F. Kennedy.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country. (from here)

How would a self-centered person have reacted to Kennedy’s call for service? Would they take it to heart, or would they just expect the sappy politician giving them that advice to do them a big favor?

Examples Of The Big Favors Provided Big Government

When politicians make promises they have no intention of keeping, they lie.

Proverbs 26:24-28 English Standard Version (ESV)

24 Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
and harbors deceit in his heart;
25 when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
for there are seven abominations in his heart;
26 though his hatred be covered with deception,
his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
28 A lying tongue hates its victims,
and a flattering mouth works ruin.

Politicians use to the power we give them to buy our votes. The worst of them promise to buy our votes with other people’s money. They make promises they know they cannot keep. Because the vast bulk of our nation’s wealth passes through the hands of ordinary Americans, to pay for Big Government, politicians must tax any ordinary Americans with a job. Then to finance their campaigns and spread their lies through the corporate mass media, politicians must cater to special interests. Thus, when politicians promise to tax the rich they lie.

Free Education: Parents, not government, have the responsibility for ensuring their children receive a good education. What happens when government takes over the education of children? Don’t politicians sell special interests access to our children? Thus:

  • Government buys the products of various corporate interests for the “benefit” of school children.
  • Labor unions leaders acquire control over numerous secure jobs with great benefits.
  • Without the approval of parents, groups with some really strange ideologies use the public school system to indoctrinate school children.

Social Security: The Social Security tax is a highly regressive tax aimed squarely at every American with a job. The rich don’t pay payroll taxes. Everybody with a job does, but because those taxes go into a secure “trust fund” Social Security is suppose to be a great deal. In fact, Congress just spends the money. If a private company tried such a scam, the CEO would be accused of fraud and put in jail.

Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare: Programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare represent a government takeover of our healthcare system. What advocates hope to do is what they have already done to our education system. Just as our education system has eliminated school choice for ordinary Americans, the government takeover our healthcare system will eliminate our ability to make our own healthcare choices.

Tax Credits, Deductions, and Various Other “Incentives”: Ever wonder how our tax system got so horribly complex? Various special interests have purchased innumerable special tax favors from the people we elect.

Minimum Wage: To anyone but the ignorant, the minimum wage is a fraud. What happens when government demands that an employer pay a worker more than that worker’s labor is worth? Doesn’t that question answer itself?

Making It Easy To Vote:  We give our elected officials enormous powers. Consider just the money our elected officials control. The combined spending of local, state and the federal government is over six trillion a year, and various corporations and individuals compete for access to that money. Therefore, these corporations and individuals lobby our elected officials, offering any temptation they can get away with.

Because the powers that elected officials possess (control over huge budgets, for example) represent a valuable commodity for dishonest people, we have no choice except to assume the possibility of electoral fraud. Traditionally, we have protected the vote by insisting that everyone who can vote vote in person on election day. That includes providing identification.

If you search the Internet, you will find huge numbers of articles claiming that voter fraud is a myth. Yet we all know Democrats want illegal aliens to vote, think the mere requirement for a photo ID is voter suppression, and fight any effort to clean up voter registration lists. If that is not suspicious, what is it? Consider these reports.

The basic argument? Conservatives say it only makes sense to verify that those who vote have the right to vote. Socialists whine that voter verification reduces the turnout of their supporters. They complain about the result and call that voter suppression, but they cannot show that requiring a photo ID, for example, wrongly suppresses the vote.

On the other hand, Socialists say that voter fraud is rare, but Conservatives point to the obvious. When little effort is made to detect and prevent it, voter fraud is easy.

Succumbing To Decadence

Because even a small society involves a complex interaction between many different souls, we cannot easily predict our future. We can only observe current trends and guess what might happen.

Currents trends do not look good. The dictionary definition of “decadence” is value-free. Without mentioning what is being lost, it points to a decay in moral qualities. Thus, to say America is becoming decadent, we must first clearly state what is being lost.

What is being lost in our society? Because we have given over the responsibility to educate our children to politicians, each succeeding generation of Americans has less knowledge of the wisdom contained in the Bible. Why is that important? Consider how the Bible defines wisdom. When King Solomon asked God for wisdom, what did he ask for?

1 Kings 3:7-9 Good News Translation (GNT)

O Lord God, you have let me succeed my father as king, even though I am very young and don’t know how to rule. Here I am among the people you have chosen to be your own, a people who are so many that they cannot be counted. So give me the wisdom I need to rule your people with justice and to know the difference between good and evil. Otherwise, how would I ever be able to rule this great people of yours?”

Solomon wanted to know how to discern good from evil. When men are fools, they call evil good and good evil. Then they become decadent (Isaiah 5:8-30), and they are doomed.

Like Solomon, we too need God’s wisdom. As it is, we do not know enough to vote for leaders who understand and appreciate the Bible’s wisdom. We have innumerable Bibles, but we remain spiritually immature. We have a baby’s wisdom. Because we have not studied the Bible, we cannot chew solid food. We still need milk.

Hebrews 5:13-14 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Ending Captivity By Big Government

When Jesus began his ministry, he started by quoting Isaiah.

Luke 4:17-19 New King James Version (NKJV)

17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

When we sin, we oppress each other and make each other prisoners. We impoverish each other. We break each others hearts, and we are blind to our own sinfulness.

How did Jesus proclaim liberty and set us free? Check out WHEN DO THE PEOPLE STEAL THEIR OWN FREEDOM?