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I have a question on this July 4th, this holiday Americans once knew as “Independence Day.”
Whatever happened to the quintessential founding American principle of limited government?
Do you ever hear anyone talk about that term anymore?
I’m not just thinking about Barack Obama and the Democrats. What about Republicans? Why has the notion of constitutionally limited government become an anachronism?
After all, isn’t that what 1776 was all about – creating a new political system that removed shackles from the people by placing them on the central government?
Isn’t that just what our founders did a few years later in 1787 when they had the chance? Didn’t they author a new political system that restrained government from unjustly and inappropriately interfering in the affairs of the self-governing people and the sovereign states?
So what exactly are we celebrating today?
It’s certainly not independence and liberty. Is it servitude to the state?
Or are we just celebrating what America once was – a long time ago?
It’s certainly not limited government under the rule of law and the will of the people.
There are no longer limits on the power of the government anywhere except in the Constitution our elected leaders ignore with contemptuous disdain and mockery.
It happened when government officials figured out they could buy favor with electors by bribing them with a small portion of their own money. But even that wasn’t good enough. When they had extracted all the wealth they could from the people, redistributing it to their best political advantage, they discovered even that limitation could be overcome. Next, they started borrowing money on the good credit of their subjects.
They borrowed more and more – until today when nearly 40 percent of federal government spending is actually overspending. It’s all done with a big credit card.
The dirty little secret in Washington is that if either one of the political parties that controls a house in the Congress wanted to stop this practice and return to limited government, it could happen virtually overnight.
But Democrats like Barack Obama never even think about such an idea unless the other party controls the White House. Did you know that Obama himself voted to oppose more borrowing when George W. Bush was president? That’s right. He opposed raising the debt limit because, he said, borrowing was out of control. He was right to do so, even if his motivations were bad. Borrowing was out of control under Bush.
Yet Obama has taken it to a level no one could even imagine during the Bush years. And these days, no Democrat would ever consider stopping the borrowing gravy train.
But what about those Republicans who still control the House of Representatives? Do you realize they have 100 percent veto authority over raising the debt limit? Do you realize the Republicans, who occasionally give lip service to the idea of limited government, could actually deliver it to us with one negative vote?
Maybe it’s time for a new revolution.
Yet, it could be prevented if Republicans just lived up to their rhetoric and did the right thing by freezing borrowing thereby forcing Washington to live within its means like the rest of us must.
I’ve been preaching this sermon since the 2010 midterm elections. I explained it was the one card Republicans had to play with control of only one house of Congress. It would be the right thing to do.
This issue will soon be coming up again in Washington.
Once again Republicans will pretend to demand spending concessions for raising the debt limit. But they don’t mean it. They will cave like a house of cards as they do every time. You know it and I know it.
Nevertheless, it’s time to put them on notice: That’s why I ask you to join me in a campaign to do just that. It’s called the No More Red Ink campaign. It very simply calls on Republicans to return America to limited government by opposing more debt.
Is there a chance they would do it?
Not if they don’t hear from you in record numbers.
To date the No More Red Ink campaign has generated some 1.5 million letters (red letters) to House Republicans urging them to man up.
My guess is it will take twice that number to give them something to think about.
Would there be a better way to observe and commemorate Independence Day in 2013?