Because the people created government, it makes sense that the government cannot claim any rights unto itself unless the people granted those rights to it. When government imposes its will on the people without the people giving it the right to do so, it no longer represents the people, but is tyrannical in its actions.
We as individuals have the right to life, liberty and property. These rights are guaranteed to us by the Constitution. If someone intrudes on these rights, we have the right to use force and defend them. Together, our founders and the people of colonial America developed and agreed to a Constitution, giving a national government LIMITED power to defend our rights. In short, when the national government does something that is beyond the scope of its charge laid out in the Constitution, it infringes on our rights and reduces the freedoms we enjoy.
In his State of the Union address to Congress on January 11, 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt argued that after completion of World War II the nation should implement a “Second Bill of Rights” or an “Economic Bill of Rights.” Included in these rights are the following:
- The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
- The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return, which will give him and his family a decent living;
- The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
- The right of every family to a decent home;
- The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
- The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
- The right to a good education.
Who would argue that it is a bad idea to have a good job, to have adequate food, clothing and recreation, to have a decent home, to have adequate medical care, to have protection from economic fears, or to have a good education? Of course, these are all good things.
The inherent problem with these so called “rights” is that if the government requires them, it must interfere with the rights of those who are required to provide them and it does so with the threat of force. If adequate food or shelter is a right, someone has to provide it. If a good job is a right, someone has to provide it. Again, government uses force to make sure this happens. After all, who would pay their taxes if they were voluntary?
The Founders originally designed our national government to protect our rights by force, if necessary. Today government uses this same force to take from one group so that it may provide rights and services to another. While the government is creative, it does not create anything of value. I have heard it said another way, “the government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.” Indeed, when one person receives something without working for it, another person must do the work without receiving the benefits of that work.
Frederic Bastiat had it right when he wrote, “Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”
The national government has many good ideas. However, is it a good idea for national government to act on all good ideas if those ideas require force upon one group of people to provide for another? If I don’t want to pay for my neighbor’s child’s lunch at school, I shouldn’t have to. For that matter, if I don’t want to pay for my neighbor’s children to go to school, I shouldn’t have to. Today government uses force to make you and I pay for these things. After all, what are the consequences if I don’t pay for them? I am arrested and placed in prison for tax avoidance. This is not charity! However, if my neighbor asked me to help with his children’s education and lunch, and I chose to help because I want to – I am acting in a charitable fashion. No force, just persuasion. This is freedom!
Even more reprehensible are those actions of Government that go against the moral beliefs of its citizens. Should I have to pay for military action – for the murder of others in another part of the world – if those actions do not protect my rights? Should I be forced to pay for abortion procedures in this country and others if I believe this to be murder? Should I be forced to pay for an education system that teaches my children that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was one of America’s greatest presidents?
Do you believe that our Founders would have approved the Constitution if they believed that one day our national government would act like it is currently acting? Our nation’s Founders risked it all to have it all – freedom that is.
Today we are in a battle once again to save the Constitution and the freedom it offers. To do so, we must be willing to turn down the ill-gotten gifts of government: property it has plundered from others. We must say no to politicians who promise the moon on someone else’s dime. We must be willing to stand on the principles of freedom for all. Any other stand binds us and destroys our liberty.
Two liberals from New York are currently running for President of the United States. Both plan to increase the size of government and bestow gifts upon the American people. There is no free lunch. To give these gifts, a form of tyranny must take place. These gifts come at a price – the price of freedom. This year vote for a candidate who you can rely on to stand for freedom. Vote your conscience!