Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Free Ride Era

The 1980s is typically touted as the era of the "free ride". President Ronald Reagan's right wing economic and political policies were designed to reduce government power and to increase the freedom of the people to make their own decisions. Reagan was of the conservative school of thought which holds several fundamental premises based on the importance of individual liberty, one of which is that you can make decisions for your individual life better than the government can. You realize, of course, I have to mention this because there is a large segment of American culture that does not believe this.

There seems to be an increasing number of people who believe government can make specific decisions for you and your loved ones on an individual basis better than you can. Leftists often treat Ronald Reagan as an uncaring president, and they say his policies were uncompassionate. The economic boom of the 1980s, they will tell us, is evidence of an uncaring and greedy administration. The fact that so many people were able to make something of their lives and bring themselves out of poverty and away from living on government handouts is portrayed as a "free ride."

A free ride is when you get something and don't have to pay for it yourself. This is the defining aspect President Barack Obama's administration. President Obama based his campaign and is now basing his agenda on the notion of giving people something they do not have to pay for directly. Health care is the biggest example.

So how do we get this fantastic new health care system if we don't have to pay for it? Well, we actually do have to pay for it.

To the modern liberal, success equals greed. If you can make a living without having to beg the government for a personal bailout you are getting a "free ride." But this label more aptly applies to the current era of American politics. You almost can't watch, listen to or read the news without seeing another example of the Obama administration discussing another need for the government to provide something to the people. And we are fast approaching the point of unsustainability, where the government simply cannot pay for all the promises it has made. The $1 trillion health care bill is totally borrowed money.

The wisdom of America's founders could help us understand why socialism should be avoided. The conservative principles written about and practiced by our founders paved the way for the world's strongest economy and greatest nation to build itself.

“An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation.”
– John Marshall

“With respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age…”
– Thomas Jefferson

“With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”
– James Madison

“I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.”
– Thomas Jefferson

Too bad the left wing narrative is treated as the only reality we need today. Welcome to the free ride era.