Big Red Car here. Ahh, the ATX — warm, sunny, clear. On Earth like it is in Texas.
So The Boss was visiting with a politician friend of his and they got into a lively debate about Big Government v, well, anything that is not Big Government.
Many such discussions become purely theoretical with a to and fro about governing philosophy but in this instance we have a bit of Big Government to take a look at right now in our country. The debate does not have to be about theory or conjecture, one can look at what is going on today and see the results.
The United STATES
The Founding Fathers, who come in for more and more praise for their wisdom with the passage of time, envisioned a lean, agile and responsive Federal government which was empowered solely by the enumerated powers granted in the Constitution by the States. It was not to be the Federal Republic of America but rather the United States of America.
All power flows from the States. Powers not granted to the Federal government were reserved to the individual States in perpetuity.
The Feds were to provide those collective services — defense as an example — which individual States could not provide or which were to be provided to the States en masse. Examples would be an Army, Navy, Marines which would defend all of the States and the national borders. Pretty logical approach.
Even so, States maintained their own “organized militias” in the form of State National Guards.
The States were to then assist individually in electing a President through the Electoral College rather than the popular vote. The President would run this lean, agile and responsive Federal government initially only with tariff and other incidental income. No Federal income tax for over a hundred years.
Laws were to be enacted by a bicameral legislature which balanced long term interests (Senators who were elected for six year terms) and short term interests (Representatives who were elected for two year terms).
A Judiciary appointed by the President and approved by the Senate would arbitrate all disputes.
A damn good system and one that clearly emanated from the role and power of the States.
Reality sets in and the dog starts running
Through the passage of the years, the Federal government has grown from a lean, agile and responsive body to a behemoth of gargantuan proportions fueled by an ever increasing and complex body of taxes which continues to grow unchecked. No honest man can even pretend to understand the current Tax Code.
The Federal government is now massive with functional responsibilities so large as to literally subsume and dwarf the role of the States.
The Feds have become the masters of the States, a consequence that is diametrically opposed to the scheme of the Founding Fathers. The UNITED States were to be the masters and creators of their Federal government which was to serve their collective interests.
What does Big Government look like?
In 2013, the Federal government will collect the greatest amount of income tax in the history of the United States. Think about that for a second. In the midst of an unending recession with record high unemployment, the Feds will collect the HIGHEST taxes in history and still cannot balance its books.
The Federal government’s appetite for taxes in unquenchable. This is Big Government.
The Federal government has become an incredible dispenser of largess through a myriad of programs beyond the ability of any individual to identify or characterize. Approximately 50% of all Americans are on food stamps, Social Security disability, public housing assistance or unemployment (bit unfair as States administer these programs but funding for much of it all comes from the Feds). This is Big Government.
This same 50% essentially pays no taxes.
The Feds run the two largest such programs of their kind in Social Security and Medicare — retirement and insurance programs. This is Big Government.
The Feds have seized control of almost 20% of the US economy in their establishment of Obamacare. Ouch. That is a sensitive issue. This is Big Government.
Big Government looks like a FAT Jabba the Hut and old Jabba was already a bit portly when he started. A big FAT Jabba the Hut with an unquenchable hunger for more and more taxes. Again, in 2013, the Feds will collect the largest tax windfall in history and still it cannot live within these extraordinary means.
How does Big Government act?
Big Government runs unimaginable deficits though it collects records revenues. No fiscal responsibility of any kind whatsoever. CHECK
Big Government does not control spending. At its very best it talks about controlling the rate of increase only. CHECK
Big Government will never, ever reform entitlements. Ever. CHECK
Big Government is unable to even run itself. The President of the US apparently has no more insight into what is going on than any citizen. Witness President Obama’s absurd pronouncements in regard to the IRS matters. [OK, we all know he’s lying.] CHECK
Big Government does not serve its citizens; it unlawfully investigates them, intercepts their communications and fails to safeguard their private information. Ooops, sorry, have to slow down, the NSA has to change their hard drive out. OK. CHECK
Big Government uses the legitimate powers of the police state to add political color to its administration of routine matters of state. IRS anyone? CHECK
Big Government does not hold anyone accountable for performance or failure to perform. Obamacare website anyone? CHECK
Big Government is neither transparent nor truthful. It lies with impunity. Benghazi. CHECK
Big Government is not competent. Obamacare rollout and website anyone? CHECK
Big Government serves itself. The Congress gets special treatment on its own Obamacare legislation. Read about it here. CHECK
Biog Government picks winners and losers. Well, mostly they pick losers. Solyndra anyone? CHECK
Big Government has created a “new norm” of a continuous recession and accompanying high unemployment with a dwindling labor force participation rate. CHECK
The list could go on forever. Big Government is here. It has arrived and it is a disaster.
The dog has caught the Big Government pickup and has no idea what to do with it.