I’m not exactly sure when it began, perhaps with the promise of a chicken in every pot, or maybe it was decades before, but the problem is clearly how we view politics in America. Whether it is state and local elections, or national campaigns, as each cycle rolls by, we tend to expect more and more. Politics have become a game of ‘one-upmanship’ largely at the expense of We The Taxpayer.

Whether you are liberal, conservative, libertarian or something else, you vote for and elect people based on what they promise to do for you. It may be lowering your taxes. It could be implementing a government program. Maybe it’s even doing something to someone else, like corporations or the wealthy? Kicking welfare moochers off the public teat? But for whatever reason, your vote is tied to what the politician promises to deliver.

We’ve lost sight of what government is supposed to do, the fundamental role it is supposed to play. Instead of federal government merely being the administrators of our essential affairs as a nation, it has become our nanny, our pacifier, our provider. We look to government to fix our problems, to ease our suffering, to do something for us. We elect the politician who promises to give us the most stuff. It has been this way for so long, most of us simply can’t rationalize it ever being another way. Our biggest problem is ourselves, the way we see politics as a means to an end, a way to get what we want. This is not the proper fundamental role of government, but we’ve made it into that, and there is not even an indication that we are aware of it. Oblivious to the problem, we just continue to elect people who promise more and more.

We all understand what robbery and theft are. This is when someone forcibly takes money or property from someone else, against their will. However, we expect the government to do this every day. If I saw a homeless person on the corner who needed health care and food, and I went to one of you and pulled a gun, demanded that you give me $200, then took that money and went to help this homeless person get health care and food, would that be okay? Would I be guilty of a crime? Clearly, I would be guilty of robbery and theft, regardless of what I did with the money. What if several other people agreed with me, that it was okay to take your money this way? What if a million people agreed with me? Would it make it any less of a crime? Again, this is what the government does every single day. They forcibly take money from people against their will, to help those in need. Oh but Brady, they don’t force you at gunpoint! No? Try not paying your income taxes on April 15, and see what they do!

Of course, most of the time, this is done in the name of good. Those who seek to help others with other people’s money, are honestly trying to do what they feel is a good thing. It is important to note here, because most ‘do-gooders’ don’t realize this, is most good that is done in the world is not done in the name of good. I can demonstrate with an example. The cattle rancher in Texas, gets up early every morning, in the rain or snow, year round, to tend and feed his cattle. He gets kicked by the cattle, his clothes get dirty, he sweats and bleeds, so that he can provide beef to the people in New York. Do you think he does this in the name of good? Would the good people of New York ever see any beef if they had to depend on the goodness of heart from the cattle farmers? I seriously doubt it. The same holds true with the potato farmer in Idaho, or the corn farmer in Nebraska.

Just so I am making my point clear, this happens across the spectrum with everyone involved, I’m not talking only about ‘do-gooder’ liberals here. Those on the right are just as guilty of using government as a means to get what they want, at someone’s expense. Corporations may be having some difficulty making profits in a competitive marketplace. They can’t compete with cheap foreign imports, so they lobby politicians to do something for them, to put a tariff on the imports or subsidize their own enterprise. Farmers may experience a bad year or two, so they go to politicians and ask that they use their power of government to take money from our pockets to help them make ends meet. They could come to us personally, but they realize we probably wouldn’t help, so they use government as a means to provide what they can’t obtain otherwise.

Government, or more specifically, the politicians who comprise government, are more than happy to oblige. The more they can exploit government power to ostensibly help others, the better, because it translates to votes for them. I believe it was Madison who postulated, governments natural state is to grow evermore powerful at the expense of individual liberty. In other words, government is in business to get bigger and more controlling over the individual, it’s natural for this to happen. This is why the task was so daunting, to establish a republican government that had limited powers which were specific and enumerated.

They believed they had done this, but no sooner than the ink was dry on the Constitution, government began to do what governments do naturally. We perpetuate this by our way of thinking and rationale. No one is going to elect a politician who doesn’t promise them something. If I ran for Congress and told the people; Look, I’ve read the Constitution, and I don’t believe the government should fund most of what it funds, so I won’t be bringing home any bacon, I won’t be fighting for your entitlements, subsidies, and appropriations… would I stand any chance of winning an election? Of course not. And rightly so, because we expect our Congressmen to deliver, to bring us something home. The justification is, if it doesn’t go to our state, it will go to some other state. Still, this whole line of thinking is predicated on a completely irrational idea, that Congress and government has some magical pile of money that can’t be exhausted. It’s almost as if we believe the Congressmen are taking the money out of their pockets to send to our state or to us in some program, and that’s why we like them and elect them over and over.

The federal government doesn’t produce anything to earn income. They are totally dependent upon revenues, mostly from taxation, and mostly from working-class Americans. Every dollar government spends, has to come from someone else earning it and having it forcibly removed from them. There is no magic money fairy, and there is no magic pile of inexhaustible cash in Washington. Yet, here we find ourselves, oblivious to all of this, and expecting our favored politician to deliver on promises to give us more stuff. This is why we see such a dominance in government of liberal spenders, because it is the natural state of government to grow bigger. We’re a mostly conservative nation, fiscally, yet our government has amassed an enormous debt that is spiraling out of control before our very eyes. Why? Because no one wants to elect a politician who isn’t going to bring home the bacon. True fiscal conservatives have a difficult time getting elected, they are often running against someone who is promising the moon, and the voters way of thinking is such, that’s who they generally elect.

We have to face our problem, and that is, how we view government in general.