James Madison said in the Federalist Papers: “In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” Unfortunately, our government has shown that it is completely willing to control the governed, but completely unable or unwilling to control or limit itself.
The latest example of a government unwilling to control itself is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (called “Obamacare” by its critics), which was recently upheld on a 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court on the grounds that Congress has the power to tax and that the mandate in Obamacare is a tax (not a penalty).
The winners as a result of the court’s ruling upholding Obamacare, are big government and big debt and the losers are economic liberty and prosperity. We are losing our liberty because most Americans want big government. This loss of liberty is the direct result of the unlimited government power to tax and spend, and while Obamacare is one example, it certainly is not the 1st example of the unlimited government power to tax and spend.
The 16th Amendment to our Constitution from 1913 says: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” It opened the floodgates for government’s unlimited power to tax and spend, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
And why should the unlimited taxing and spending slow down when legislators can put off for tomorrow what could and should be dealt with today? Most of us are either too busy with our own lives, too apathetic to express our concerns to our elected representatives in Washington, or worst of all, OK with our 15.8 trillion National Debt which currently exceeds Gross Domestic Product and amounts to a cost of more than $50,000 per citizen or $139,000 per taxpayer.
The only solution to our mounting debt and erosion of liberty is to limit government’s power to tax and spend. We cannot continue to raise taxes and spending when we are so deep in financial debt with a National Debt that exceeds GDP. When will we know that people care more about sound finances than the security falsely promised by entitlement programs? When Washington taxes less, spends less, reduces its debt. and lives within its means.