From the years 1900 to 2000 we Americans have seen an expediential growth in the overall size of government; this growth has occurred in all levels of governing. Every federal agency and department has expanded its responsibilities and authority; this expansion of government includes the increase of taxes and fees to pay for the costly services provided by the jurisdictions of cities, counties, and states. On a world wide scale, America’s government has grown by influence and infrastructure; since the offset of the Spanish American War to the present America’s prowess, supported by taxes and debt service, has reached the far corners of the world.
No person could have possibly envisioned the effect of this step by step, layer upon layer, taxpayer funded expansion of American government; an effect that would propel the United States into a perpetual motion of uncontrollable legislative taxing continuances resulting in the creation of an ambiguous, abstract, Byzantine, wholly ungovernable, giant governing bureaucracy. A bureaucracy of laws and regulations created by the elected to satisfy the insatiable demands of a divergent group of lobbyist and ever increasing costs of buying constituency votes.
By means extraordinary, the elected have conspired, compromised, and ignored the excesses of their peers, all united in order to be reelected, they invented then applied, the magic of off budget funding; they did so, regardless, of its effect on the country’s fiscal interest. All the while the specialist of governing; the staff that obliges the leadership of the three branches of government is intent on keeping the citizens ignorant, the media feed with mostly nonsense and the process of governing any thing but transparent. These, obligors of the elected, are the very ones who parented, complicit with the desires of the elected, a system of complex lawful procedures, to effect for the average citizen, actionable disorientation; such a system of actionable disorientation negates the citizen’s application of jurist prudence, the common understanding of tax law or the contradictions of property ownership apparent in the inherent power encompassed within the rule of eminent domain. The design of these specialists of governing rule and regulation are such that it is impossible for the layman to understand much less defend oneself against the inherent power of government without a great deal of money to pay the licensed (attorneys-accountants)to mount a defense.
Imagine! The average American does not understand the laws by which he or she is subjected and the only defense is to have enough money to hire a licensed person to represent one’s interest. Is this Jeffersonian democracy? One man; one vote; indeed; but, in order to manage the implementation of protecting one’s right, requires the cash to pay for the billing hours of the licensed. Government answer to this rule of law is to tax, grow, and spend; the government’s line is that it understands its rules and laws; the ability to change is within the courts or legislative body, there is no need for the average citizen to understand such complexities. This reminds me of the church of the past; wherein, owning a bible was restricted to the clergy, the context was written in Latin, and the Sunday services were ritualistic, panoramic, and in the language of the elite. If one of the faithful had a question the only source was the priest.
At each benchmark of American history during the last century; be it the last vestiges of western expansion, to the taking of San Juan Hill, battling in the Philippines, the entering of WWI, the Roosevelt presidency, WW II, the Marshall Plan, Korea, Vietnam, and now the war in Iraq and the global war on terrorism; there has been an increase tax burden placed on the American people. Proportionate to the taxing of Americans, be it excise tax, sales tax, death tax, corporate tax, income tax, dividend tax, or payroll tax or the tax by other means such as the ever appreciating cost of government fees; there is a decided lessening of individual freedom. There is a direct relationship to increase taxes, less individual freedom and the substantial growth in the size of government. Additionally, the bigger the government the more it employs; the more people it employs the larger government becomes.
Government employs a large and ever growing number of people; these people will, in the majority, always encourage government to pay them more; they will vote for elected representatives who promise them more. These government employee groups are unregistered lobbyist of means; they guard and maintain our nation’s park, they are the police and fire, they administer, and they manage all aspects of intergovernmental services including health, welfare, and social security. They have tremendous political power, significant financial resources, and appreciating operational cost, not to mention their higher than private sector expense of retirement, health plans, and death benefits.
At each election cycle the elected and their minions put on their war paint and divide into hunting groups each seeking the prize; each are willing to turn on their former loyalties, run the media gauntlet, eloquently side step material contradictions, feed off the mistakes of their fellow contenders, and take advantage of the uninformed. All of these tactical maneuvers and acceptable (so it seems) transgressions are executed in the interest of maintaining and obtaining the golden ring of political power. While the game of capturing the flag is being played by the majority of our politicians of each party all participants, in the interest of getting their flag bearer elected, enters the mode of promising and pledging just about anything to the electorate so to purchase/guarantee their vote.
One party’s contender declares increased services for the economically ill-defied average and poor by taking from the wealthy and the corporate; the other political party, talks of growth by lowering taxes, fees, and regulations. Although both political parties are capable of post election deception, deceit, and betrayal; the Democratic Party actually declares a belief in and a resolve to increase the size of government by overtly sponsoring universal health care, limiting the Prowess of American military by retrograding from Iraq, and redefining the distribution of tax revenue to a different value. While the Republican Party talk of limited government, enrichment of health services by private means, the continues of the Bush tax cut, and the commitment of US forces in Iraq until victory is in hand.
Each party has their team of bureaucratic obligors all eager to serve their liege; each is committed to the winning; some at all costs, even if the costs are the unacceptable extra legal or the cost of propagating misinformation, disinformation, or outright lies. We Americans often enough denigrate the beauty of our succession process by exclaiming that all is fair in love and politics-I think not; nevertheless, this is the process of American historical precedence.
Although, by measuring the behavior of this Republican administration over the last nearly eight years the evidence points away from my ideal limited government model or the kind of commitment to fewer, lower, governmental fees and taxes. Nevertheless, one does need to place one’s bet on the Republican verse the Democratic model if one has any hope of creating a policy of implementing a tax less shirking of the size of government that espouses transparency over a system of actionable disorientation designed to benefit the licensed to the detriment of the common.