[300 word Letter to the Net]
Society is actively debating the size of government. People on both sides of this debate often fail to mention the role of government. Our constitution limits the role of government on personal and economic matters, with the presumption of liberty. However, a small government doesn’t translate into a limited government.
Abraham Lincoln said, “The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves, in their separate, and individual capacities.” Lincoln also said, “The best framed and best administered governments are necessarily expensive; while by errors in frame and maladministration most of them are more onerous than they need be, and some of them very oppressive.” Lincoln was right, it’s not the cost or size of government that is most important, it’s the scope of government that is paramount. A competent and effective government can be more expensive than an inept government, but an inept government has a higher cost. An inept government allows our personal liberties to be trampled by the rich and powerful.
Reagan may have been a good president. It’s troubling that some have misused his rhetoric to disparage government. Reagan said, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” It is certainly true that an inept government is the problem, and government is necessary. Who among us wishes to live without government services? Anti-government fakes and pompous fools are first to claim such a life.
I prefer to live in a community with limited and effective government. I’m looking for political leaders that understand the value and role of government consistent with our constitution and needs (not political hacks on a ‘no-tax increase’ holy war or zealous ‘do-gooders’).