Monday, October 5, 2009

What do we expect government to do?

The insatiable appetite of our government, continually asking the tax payers to pay more and more for “increased” services, seems to have no end in sight. I have to ask, who is asking our government to provide these services? It is a very basic question but I think it goes to the heart of the out of control spending we seem to have at all levels of government.

Do the citizens of Colorado need another billion dollars of government spending, and does the federal government need another trillion dollars of spending to provide for the services we “need”? If so please define “need”? If so, who is getting these additional services? If so, who is asking for them? If so, do we really expect government to provide them for us? Are we no longer a capable people? Have we given up on self sufficiency?

I believe there are services government must provide. The military comes to mind, and infrastructure like roads and bridges, registry services, election services, social services that provide a short term safety net for people that fall on hard times, as well as some elderly services. There are services the government is expected to supply and then there are services that organized groups of individuals (special interests) convince the government they should provide, at everyone else’s expense.

We need to have a public discussion again about what the role of government is at every level of government. The U.S. Constitution comes to mind as a starting point. The troth of government has a diminishing amount of grain with an increasing supply of a feeding public.

There is a fundamental problem; the goose that lays the golden egg (productive individuals and businesses) is about to give in and take its place at the troth. When it no longer makes sense to work because of confiscatory policies that take the incentive away to be productive, everyone starves.

There is no free lunch. When are we going to have a real conversation on the role of government?

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