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Opening Arguments

Big and bigger

Charles Murray on the difference between "energetic government" and "unlimited government":

In 1963, 30 years after the New Deal started, the federal government still played little role in vast swathes of American life, from K-12 education to the way people went about providing goods and services to their fellow citizens. We can argue about which of the subsequent interventions were warranted and which were not, but not about this: The way that presidents and Congresses see their power to intervene in American life in 2010 is profoundly different from the way they saw it in 1963. In 1963, among mainstream Democrats as well as Republicans, it was accepted that an overarching purpose of the American Constitution was to limit the arenas in which government could act. Now, the recognition of that purpose has all but disappeared—in the executive branch, in the Supreme Court, and in Congresses controlled by Republicans as well as by Democrats. There has been big change, reflected in big government.

The idea of a federal government limited by the Constitution's "enumerated powers" is all but gone. That's why of all that's bad in ObamaCare (and there's so much of it), the worst is the provision mandating that Americans have health insurance. If the government can order its citizens to purchase a specific commodity just because they're alive and breathing, under penalty of fines for noncompliance, then there really is nothing it can't do. If that doesn't scare the hell out of you, we don't just have political differences; we live in entirely different universes.

Posted in: Uncategorized


Bob G.
Wed, 09/15/2010 - 11:22am

It SHOULD scare the hell out of everyone...!

Well said!