When Politicians Promise Voters ‘Free’ Stuff aka Bribery then Theft
‘Tis the season to be deluged with political promises. There’s no shortage of candidates promising to fix what ails us by providing funding, creating programs or, worst of all, establishing new laws and government agencies. All this only compounds the problem.
These faux remedies are timeless in political annals. As long as men have sought other men’s political support, they have promised them things in return.
Consequently, we have taxes on stuff we don’t even realize are taxed (example, in California sliced apples from a vending machine costs an extra 33 percent in tax); regulations on things that work perfectly well without government interference (example, in four states it takes six years and government approval to become an interior designer); and subsidies for every imaginable want and desire (example, the Obama Phone program provides 20 million people with free cell phones with 250 free minutes every month).
Incredibly, even supposedly conservative Republican voters can be heard asking what a candidate will deliver to them in return for their vote. If this crude transaction – things for votes – sounds like bribery, it’s only because that’s what it is. There is nefarious criminal intent on both ends of the deal: something undeserved at someone else’s expense thanks to government redistribution. When that happens in private life, people can be arrested and jailed.
Worse yet the GOP, ostensibly the party of small, limited government, is proving once again to be but a pale imitation of the party of redistribution, AKA Democrats, albeit with different forms of welfare (crony capitalism) and different constituencies (taxpayers instead of tax receivers).
Even more incredibly, professed “conservatives” complain that some candidates (we’re thinking of the recently withdrawn Ron Paul and the still-with-us Ted Cruz) shouldn’t be elected because they can’t get things done. As if getting things done – also known as “reaching across the aisle” and “working with the other side” – is something we should aspire to.
It doesn’t take an expert to realize compromises to get things done are precisely the tools that built the horrid contraption now micro-managing our lives and picking our pockets.
The tide has risen to the point that Americans are in debt $19 trillion, or $58,000 for each person in the land, and the number of diktats controlling us include 468,500 pages of regulations issued by Barack Obama , alone.
Yours truly longs for the day when Washington stops getting things done. It would be such a blessing if the powers that be simply halt what’s already been done, and a double blessing if they would deign to roll back some of it.
That’s not progress, you say? Review the past century. Tell me what “progress” has given us. Then remind yourself, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are “progressives.” Enough said.
The root of the problem is in how government is viewed. There isn’t a single realm of life that escapes government’s over-bearing omnipresence. This is a perversion of the role of government, although it delights those who play at government, giving them lots to do and plenty of others’ money to do it with.
My study of the Bible, whose application is approaching extinction in the halls of government, says government has two legitimate roles – to suppress evil and to punish evil-doers.
I’ve looked. There’s not a word of authority granted secular government to provide health, education, welfare, cell phones or for that matter to pave roads or issue licenses to operate a vehicle or own a gun. You say those are traditional roles for government? So is oppression and tyranny, so what’s your point?
Perhaps you protest that we must, “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” because the Bible says so.
In Bible study that error is called eisegesis, as opposed to proper Biblical rendering, which is exegesis. Eisegesis reads into the text something that is not there, such as a personal preference, rather than reading the actual meaning of the words.
Nowhere in that passage, or for that matter anywhere else in the Bible, does it say “Everything is Caesar’s.” In fact, like couples in marriage and individuals in life, government is restrained from using its legitimate authority for evil ends. And when it does, we are commanded not to cooperate. You might recall, Apostles Peter and John went to some lengths explaining to the authorities that they wouldn’t be forced to act in a way God forbids them to act.
If government is not authorized to do something and it commands people to obey what it’s not authorized to command, we have a compound error. Such is government, circa 2016.
Like you and me, government is not authorized to forcibly take your money to give to me, or to anyone else, against your will. Government is certainly not authorized to infringe on your God-given right to life by demanding that you not protect yourself against those who would harm you, as it does when it restricts ownership of guns. And government is unauthorized to intrude on the family’s role in raising and teaching children, let alone forcibly relieving others of their hard-earned money to pay for the intrusion.
Clearly, as a nation, we’ve drifted a long way from this unadulterated understanding of government’s role. The last thing we need is to drift further. It’s all the more offensive when it’s disguised as “getting things done” or “reaching across the aisle.”
What it is clearly, is compromise. And it’s compromise of basic principles, not mere preferences. To desire our neighbor’s money to pay for our wants and needs no more authorizes government to legalize the theft than if King Herod ordered it.
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