People often forget what government is and what it is supposed to do. Today we are inundated with hyper hysteria about the “big bad government” coming to take your money any way it can. We are told that it is an institution which is trying to take your individual freedoms away so that we can become a socialist society like Russia or China.
Of course this is nonsense designed to scare you into behaving a certain way in order to further a particular agenda.
So let’s clarify what a government is and is supposed to do.
Government is an authoritative body collectively making decisions that affect society. We have city, state, and federal governments. They perform very important functions that we often take for granted every day.
National Defense. The U.S. spends more than $400 Billion per year on national defense. We spend more than the next 15 countries combined. When you hear that, it is easy to disregard the figure because you cannot imagine the true size and scope of it. This means that we spend more than the Netherlands, Indonesia, Canada, Australia, Italy, Brazil, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Japan France, Britain, Russia, and China combined.
Public Service/Goods. Does your child attend public school or visit the neighborhood library? How do you travel to work? Probably by road or highway. Even when you take your family to the park for an afternoon of carefree play, your Government pays for this as well. Now imagine if they were not there.
Preserve Order. Do you know anyone in the National Guard? This is often a tool used by Governments to control difficult situations. When the RNC had their convention in St. Paul, the National Guard was there to help maintain order.
Socialization. Now this is often a dirty word in Republican circles. But when you think for a moment, you realize that the Government actually engages in socialization every day. When children attend school, our national values are instilled within them. Ever say the pledge of allegiance? That is socialization meant to foster National values and patriotism.
Taxes. The biggest sin of all. Not really. You could not have any of the benefits many see as civil liberty and signs of a free society without taxes. Even “tax cuts” cost money and who pays for them in the form of taxes? Citizens and non-citizens alike through sales tax, property tax, federal tax, and the list goes on and on.
We all want to pay less tax, but there comes a point when the National Credit Card won’t be approved. When that day comes, and the services dwindle, we will make some hard choices. Shorter school days will mean mom and dad won’t be able to work a full day. That means less income. Perhaps we sell the house and move into an apartment in the city. Visits to the local food bank may be forthcoming. And yes, the military budget will have to be significantly reduced.
Government is made up of people (not corporations, for the people. It is necessary and can do more for the middle class, but this cannot happen until the majority of people become involved instead of letting the vocal minority set the agenda and decide who gets what.