I had a column ready to print about The 2014 Election Trouncing, Part Two, but I’ve had to revise my thoughts on it because it’s insanely long as I started to examine federal programs that don’t promote liberty. What concerns me about the election is that no one, I mean no one, talked about the $18 Trillion deficit. It was a non-issue. It ought to be the first and only issue that the New Congress takes up. How do we eliminate that debt, while promoting liberty as I mentioned last week?
Over the next few months I’ll have a series of articles about federal spending that irk me, but for now let me address how the national spending problem is a problem for liberty, how to identify the problems and how to solve the problem.
The national debt is a drain on the economy. Right now, interest on the debt is about $500 billion a year. That’s HALF a TRILLION dollars! Just to service our debt. A robust economy couldn’t continue to service that debt, and we’re no where close to robust. This debt only makes things worse for liberty. Our tendency is to institute more government programs to help the economy and help the people affected by the poor economy, leading to more government spending, leading to more debt. Liberty pays the price because when we institute new government programs, or expand old ones, as we require the people to give us their liberty to get a piece of the pie. We have to stop expanding the government and instead expand the economy, not through more government, but less.
How does one reduce the size of the federal government? It’s really simple, but incredibly tough to pull off. We should examine every single program and determine if it promotes liberty or not. If it doesn’t promote liberty, then cancel the program.
The old Rural Electrification Agency, now called the Rural Utilities Service, gets $9 billion a year. $7 billion of that goes to low interest loans to electric companies. Needed in 1930, not so much now. It’s corporate welfare and doesn’t do a darn thing for liberty. Small potatoes I know, but it’s a good example of a government program that no longer is needed, is classic “welfare” and doesn’t do a thing for liberty. If they have a decent program, move it to the correct agency and close this baby down.
It would take that analysis of every government program, starting with A and going to Z, before one could know the reductions possible. Do EPA rules promote liberty? Examine each and every one. Does welfare (corporate or individual) promote liberty? I doubt it, but if it can be shown that liberty is promoted, keep it. I’m curious if anyone can point me to a federal welfare program that promotes liberty.
Please do not confuse the “buying votes” welfare with liberty promotion. If you could take vote buying out of the mix, this reduction process would be a lot easier.
Hey, it’s not that big a deal. The future of our country depends on it though.
Kelly Burke, master attorney, former district attorney and magistrate judge, is engaged in private practice. He focuses on personal injury cases and corporate litigation. These articles are not designed to give legal advice, but are designed to inform the public about how the law affects their daily lives. Contact Kelly firstname.lastname@example.org to comment on this article or suggest articles about the law that you’d like to see.