The Policy of the American Government

Government has certainly gotten a lot bigger under President Obama. The federal budget deficit has virtually tripled with unsuccessful bailouts and stimulus plans.  With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, we have a new federal entitlement program.  Many are frustrated with the way President Obama has managed the economy.  Jobs are a big issue; let us consider the unemployment rate at full employment is considered to be 5%.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics President Obama’s average unemployment rate throughout his term was 9% through October 2012.  President Bush’s average unemployment rate during his first term stood at 5.5% and his second term was 5.1%.   Opportunities for employment, especially employment that equals ones experience or education has vastly deteriorated over the past four years.  We now see a surge of demand for smaller government. Limited government is, after all, part of our heritage.

If the economy is growing, people can solve their own problems; this is the belief of Republicans that economic growth is necessary. Government should just get out of the way. Democrats believe economic growth is adequate but not necessary. Government must provide a safety net for people who are economically vulnerable. I understand both sides; however I believe we can maximize our freedom by allowing Government to get out of the way.  And freedom is my main motivator when voting.

Do not confuse my claim for limited Government to mean no Government.  Liberals enjoy claiming this for me… it is simply not true.  Allow me to explain.

When President Obama stated “You did not build that” he was correct. He justified an increase in taxes by indicating that all entrepreneurs benefit from public infrastructure. We all benefit from certain taxpayer-funded collectivist government infrastructure projects and programs. It is then my belief that we should limit government expenditures to just those programs.  The other government programs encumber, constrict or penalize entrepreneurialism, or assist some people but to the harm of others, or waste money on bureaucracy or irresponsible expenditures that result in indebting our nation.

During my research, I have determined only one-fourth of our federal tax dollars go to programs or projects that benefit the general public and entrepreneurs; the rest is a waste!

The U.S. Constitution is structured to limit the authority at the Federal level.  Its purpose is to protect our borders and to facilitate a common currency and equitable system of commerce among the States. The means by which the Federal level executes its authority is through a process of restriction. Consequently, as it expands its abilities, it is encroaching on our freedoms and liberties and our free market economy.

The U.S. Constitution was intended to restrict the growth of all levels of government by restricting the sources of funding that each level was permitted to tax. The Federal level had the greatest restrictions and the Local level had the least. Congress was limited in its abilities to “solve problems” of a domestic nature due to its restricted access to funding. This all changed with the 16th and 17th amendment, when we agreed to allow a Federal level income tax along with the change to allow U.S. Senators to be elected directly by popular vote. Instead of the Federal level of our government acting to coordinate among the States, it became its superior.

The U.S. Constitution always allowed us the freedom to relocate. Since authority was mainly concentrated at the local level, if a local official became an oppressor, he could only oppress those willing to stay under his oppression. Similarly, if the State level of government became too oppressive to a citizen, the citizen could simply relocate out of the State’s jurisdiction. Freedom to relocate was our greatest advantage to discipline the local and state levels of our government. The depopulation of Detroit is a prime example of how this discipline works; according to the U.S. Census the population of Detroit decreased 25% in the past decade.  Other examples are California and New York.

When Mitt Romney stated during the debates that he wants the States to have more power, he won my vote. I will leave you with this… “The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits.” – Thomas Jefferson

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Comments

  1. ellyportnoy says:

    I’m about to expose my nerd roots big time but…reading this calls to mind something Dumbledore told Nevel Longbottom in one of those Harry Potter books: it takes great courage to stand up to one’s enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends. (Or something close to that).
    For having the courage to speak up from the midst of this left-leaning pool and offer a differing opinion, I commend you and award you an infinite amount of cool points.
    The fact that you are incredibly intelligent and thoughtful regarding the subject you covered is also worth noting. Bravo!

  2. I agree with Elly. I was thoroughly impressed by the amount of work you put into deciding who would have your vote. I wish everyone was as dedicated as you in voting for their candidate. If everyone voted like you – for reasons that they researched and believe in, our elections would become 1000% more interesting and I would have pride in the process.

  3. WOW! Thank you so much ladies. I really appreciate the comments. I will admit, I was concerned about being one of only a few conservative voices, so it means a lot to me that we all have an open mind and share support for one another. Dave must have known what he was doing when he put this group together. I hope to learn a lot from each of you, along with the rest of the group as we continue.

  4. Brian Thompson says:

    I just read the 16th and 17th amendments for the first time since grade school i think. Thought provoking, I needed it on a morning when I really feel like sulking.

  5. M. Steele says:

    If we all thought the same way we wouldn’t have anyone to challenge us. I tend to be quite liberal with social issues while wanting fiscal responsibility, but not at the expense of things I find important. The thing that bothers me the most about the right wing is there tends to be an underlying attitude of “I got mine, now you can go fuck yourself for all I care”. I may be an atheist, but I believe if Jesus were here today he would not be a member of the conservative party. The federal governments main responsibility is to keep it’s citizens safe. That can be interpreted in many different ways. I personally believe that should include healthcare and other similar things. Some don’t believe that, that is why have these debates. I don’t like paying taxes, but if I have pay a bit more because I make a bit more, I don’t mind that as long as it helps someone who truly needs it. Is there too much waste at the federal level? Hell yes. It needs to be cleaned up. Could the states manage some of the federally funded programs better? Maybe, I’m not sure. Will there always be people who try to cheat the system? Absolutely. Any system. Anywhere. Thanks for making me think today. I did enjoy your post.

  6. I do think it takes courage to write some of these things if the site tends to lean left, although I am not seeing that yet. Being new, it is hard to tell.
    However, coming from the policy analysis perspective- I think there are a few conclusions that don’t sit right with me- the unemployment figures, the global nature of corporations, changes in economic indicators abroad, and more. For example, the idea that 1/4 of revenues benefit the public “and entrepreneurs”, the rest is a waste.

    I think I am ok with some of my money actually going to public good, isn’t that the purpose of taxation? But the entrepreneurs part? That is corporate welfare. And that seems against the limited government idea, no?

    So 3/4 is waste…What is waste? Medicare? Social Security? If you look at the actual budget stats you will see that a tiny fraction goes to social services. TINY. The rest? What about foreign aid? Crony contracts to criminal defense companies? FEMA Trailers? A tax code that costs millions but that nobody wants to change despite it being one of these big bureaucracies we keep hearing about, because the loop holes help the rich avoid fair taxation? Then there are the pork projects. The “bridges to nowhere”. Take a guess which side has the largest number of budget earmarks, pork and pet projects, and payback? Follow the cronyism and it will lead you to your waste. And the culprits. Fact, not opinion. Numbers.

    I think we need to get away from emotions and ideals and the forefathers thing and look at hard numbers.

    I think most Americans expect to be taxed in exchange for public good- education, etc. but why should citizen tax money continue to subsidize entrepreneurs? How can we talk about limited, small government as a political platform for a party but then say that taking from the working people to help business makes sense? When you say getting out of the way, or small government, doesn’t that mean letting business survive or fail based on their ability to compete in the market?

    Consider that part of the waste you speak of is war related, and interest on the national debt. Which President took those actions? History shows a cycle of out of control debt after each Republican. Reagan? Unprecedented, historical debt. Clinton balances the budget but guess what? A Republican comes in, and we have record debts.

    Whether a Republican or Democrat, I would like to see us get past the sound bytes of Fox News and take a look at the economic facts.

    Without public education, you have no workers for your business. Education gave those business people their mobility and opportunity.

    Yet education is the first thing to go. I want an explanation on that.

  7. Thank you for reading my post. I appreciate everyone’s comments. I’d like to make a few comments and clarifications. This is my first blog, so it is a work in progress and your comments are helping me to prepare more for my future postings. I obtained the unemployment rates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 25% remark was my opinion. I am assuming we will all have varying opinions on what we consider to be a waste of taxpayer money from the Federal Government. Among other things, that is what separates the parties.

  8. Aren Hinely says:

    While I certainly can agree that there is enormous waste in any large bureaucracy, I think we can all rattle off largely successful federal initiatives. Do you refer to the discretionary budget, half of which is military? Or are you including SS and Medicare? SS and Medicare are paid for by the workers and the employees, and that money would have to come from somewhere – I’m pretty sure Americans wouldn’t allow millions of elderly to go homeless and without health care. That said, I think the loss of multigenerational households has cost our culture quite a bit, and think there is definitely room for reform to these very expensive, but necessary, programs. Also, think about the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, the minimum age and wage laws, all the laws against discrimination. Sure, they’ve become burdensome in many conspicuously noted cases, but they’ve also done incredible things giving Americans of all races and gender the right to live, work, and play where they want, without being taken advantage of by polluters or discriminated against by their employers or community.

    My litany of things here is tired, and this thread is probably dead, but the main problem with calling 3/4 of the federal government waste (without listing the specific things you find wasteful), is you discredit all the good work done by good Americans. You may not mean to, but I think this is a big reason why Republicans (not conservatives, let me be clear, they are not necessarily the same) are struggling to win urban and educated households.

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