Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why "more revenue" is self-defeating

As Thomas Jefferson noted, "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground."  Bit by bit, the Federal government (and to a lesser extent, the States) have slipped the various bonds put into place by the Founders to restrain this tendency.  This trend has reached a dangerous and unsustainable point.  Rather than acknowledge this and take action to reverse direction, though, the entrenched interests of Leviathan will resist and seek any measure, no matter how desperate, to keep things rolling just a little bit longer...

Most informed people are familiar with the concept of Peak Oil, but fewer are aware that we’re also entering the era of Peak Government. The central misconception of Peak Oil -- that it’s not about “running out of oil,” it’s about running out of cheap, easy-to-access oil -- can also be applied to Peak Government: It’s not about government disappearing, it’s about government shrinking.
Central government -- the Central State -- has been in the expansion mode for so long that the process of contracting government is completely alien to the nation, to those who work for the State, and to those who are dependent on the State. Thus we have little recent historical experience of Peak Government and few if any conceptual guideposts to help us understand this contraction.
Instead of scaling back, the inferno of government continually seeks new sources of fuel -- revenue.  For many years, government has taxed various things allegedly to pay for specific products/services.  These tenuous connections convince voters to go along with the larger hand in their pockets.  But all too often, those funds are then diverted to other purposes -- Social Security being but the most well-known example.

Our nation does NOT have a revenue problem.  It has a spending problem.  It's the equivalent of the girl from the musical Oklahoma, who "can't say no."  And like that character, we find ourselves "in a ter'ble fix."
One doesn't fight a fire by feeding it, or an addiction by indulging it.  The various "stimulus" packages of the past 4-5 years have been like methadone to a junkie... but it's losing any effectiveness and the withdrawal will set in, sooner or later.

The only question left is how much more damage we're going to do before being forced into reality...

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