Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The "Wouldn't it Be Nice" Theory of Government

Remember the Beach Boys? Remember the song, "Wouldn't it Be Nice"?

The "Wouldn't it be Nice" Syndrome that affects local, state and federal legislatures is at epidemic levels. They have their legal and chartered and Constitutional duties set forth, and then one of them says, "Wouldn't it be a good thing if we just..."
And according to the ruling class, all the things they propose are "good things", even if we have to go into debt to pay for them, (which is generally a bad thing).

And once you've started saying yes to millions and then billions and then trillions of dollars of spending, what's a few million more? How can you possibly say no to this next "good thing"??

Imagine, if you're not a parent, that you have kids. (Those of you with kids won't need much imagining.) Your six year old comes up to you and says, "Wouldn't it be nice if I had a pony?" And you think to yourself how it might teach your child responsibility to care for an animal, and certainly you would be stimulating the economy by purchasing the pony, renting a stable, feed and tack and vet bills, etc.
"Sure! Why not?"

Then your teenager approaches you and makes a plea for a car. "Wouldn't it be nice if you didn't have to pick me up after school every day and take me to school activities. I could even use it to get a job!". And you think to yourself how nice it would be not to have so many conflicts getting everyone where they need to be.
"Sure! Why not?"

"Gee, wouldn't it be nice if it was a brand new car with air bags and all the latest safety features?"
"Sure! Why not?"

I think you can see where this is going. Not everything that is a good thing is the responsibility of parents to provide their children. Not everything that is a good thing is the responsibility of government to provide for its citizens.

Sooner or later, and possibly very soon, our legislators are going to have to look at the budget and the size of the debt and the amount of the interest due and look their constituents in the eyes and tell them that the government cannot do every good thing. It cannot fund every good idea. And it certainly can no longer afford to do for people the things that they need to do for themselves.

There is no power to be gained by getting out of the way and letting people do things for themselves. The power comes through buying favors and threats of taxation or regulations which in turn, brings in the cash to buy more favors.

"Business as usual" has got to stop. Wouldn't it be nice if Washington got the message?

Cross posted at LCR.

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