Obamacare is now the law of the land if only by a narrow margin of the vote of the Almighty Nine. The Supreme Court did, however, establish Obamacare as a tax. Our always honest “president” had earlier assured us that it was not a tax. Good, bad or indifferent, the passage of Obamacare is a significant milestone in the continuing growth of big government.
Personally, I am ideally a believer in laissez faire—government noninterference in our lives and businesses. Unfortunately, this policy, if it can still be called a policy, continues on the way of the dinosaur. The rugged individualism of free enterprise is a disappearing aspect of American history. Let’s face it, we are a co-dependent society. The government no longer serves us, if it ever did, we serve the government. In a land of diminishing resources and increasing demands where big government will carry our descendants only the Lord knows. One thing for sure is that our descendants will not grow up in that same America that we did.
The growth of big government didn’t start with Obama, Bush, or even FDR; it has its roots in the very beginning of the good ole USA. Many believe that perhaps the greatest responsibility for the unbelievable expansion of the federal government should go to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal. While the popular Roosevelt was definitely an important accomplice in that development, the federal government began its astonishing express evolution long before Roosevelt’s New Deal. And it is improbable that the federal government would be much smaller at the present if Roosevelt had never been president.
Why do we have big government? We want big government because we want good ole Uncle Sam to always be there for us. We want more jobs and opportunities. Who or what do we want to make jobs and opportunities available for us? We want the government to provide the circumstances for more jobs and economic opportunities. What community turns down a big government project that moves into the community?
The genesis of federal growth is in the Constitutional Convention. The first major event in the expansion of the federal government was the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1789. Prior to that, the United States was governed under the Articles of Confederation. The Constitution is often praised as a document that protects the rights of individuals and limits the powers of government. But a comparison of the Constitution with the Articles reveals that just the opposite is true. Under the Constitution the federal government gained more power, was less accountable, and had greater freedom to determine its own course.
However, the contemporary age of government growth started with the Progressive Era prior to World War 1. World War 1 was a time of tremendous federal extension, and the New deal is widely acclaimed as a time of economic revival. Contrary to prevalent conviction, though, that period of growth was geared rather to give government more power than to “put a chicken in every pot.” Also contrary to common belief is that the ratio by which the federal government grew was bigger during Herbert Hoover’s four years as president than during the first seven years of the New Deal. Roosevelt simply continued a long-standing trend.
To put all this in a Bible perspective, we have only to look at the story of Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden (maybe the serpent was a politician). Eve was surrounded in a lush garden with all that she could ever hope to need. However, she wasn’t satisfied. She believed that there was something else she needed. She wanted to expand her benefits.
The tricky old serpent/politician knew Eve’s desires and saw it as an opportunity to feather his den and expand his power over people. He showed her the beautiful tree in the middle of the garden and sold her on all the good things that it would do for her if she would just get on board his bandwagon and support his platform.
Well, well-enough was not good enough for Eve and she got on the New Deal bandwagon of change. You know the rest of the story.
Until we discover ways to do the things and provide for ourselves the services that we ask the government for, we will keep on depending on government and it will keep on growing.