Remember that famous quote from John F. Kennedy in his inaugural address? That famous line, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country,” has been repeated by many different people over the past 48 years in a variety of contexts and for a variety of purposes. But it seems that we have forgotten it, and are only asking what our country or our government can do for us.
During this past election cycle, I got in a conversation with someone who was planning on voting for Obama and basically an entire Democrat and/or liberal ticket. She asked me why I was going to vote Republican, because “what have the Republicans ever given you?” I’ve thought about that question a lot in the past several months, and found it to give insight into the reason why government is so big, why they take so much from us in taxes, and why they are elected into office again and again, despite their massive failures. [Massive failures? Yes! Pres. Johnson declared “War on Poverty” in the 60s, and it’s only gotten worse. Yet we continue to throw good money after bad, in the apparent insane hopes that maybe this time history won’t repeat itself. And that’s just one example.]
This woman didn’t realize it, but she was selling her vote to the highest bidder — to whomever was able to convince her that s/he was going to give her the most. In one way, that’s not too different from what everyone does — everyone votes for the person that s/he thinks is the best. The difference comes in the way someone determines who will be the best candidate for the job. It’s an easy thing to vote for someone who promises you to “give” you what you want (even if, like so many campaign promises, the promise is forgotten the day after the election). It’s much harder — requires more discipline, more maturity, more circumspection, more thought — to vote for someone who does not promise you the moon.
But it is important to remember, that “the government” cannot give unless it first takes. They take our money in the form of taxes, then they take a percentage of our money off the top for bureaucracy, then they give us back a smaller portion of our money in the form of “benefits” and services. Some taxation is necessary, and some benefits and services are needful; but it’s time to say enough already!!!
We have to step up and let our voice be heard. A reader named Craig sent the link to this news story about various Representatives and Senators going apoplectic about proposed budget cuts, because the cuts were going to affect their districts. One of the items was a Presidential helicopter that Obama says is not necessary. Although $800,000,000 is a drop in the bucket, compared to the monstrosity of the “stimulus” package, it is still eight hundred million dollars of your money and my money that will be spent unnecessarily unless it is ultimately cut. And it will be spent because people voted, not for what they could do for their country, but what their country could do for them. Unfortunately, that comes at a very steep price, because as I said before, the government cannot give anything that it does not first take away.