Limit government to maximize freedom

Those of us who want to make government small and keep it limited as America’s Founders intended sometimes come across to others as naysayers.
Because we don’t fall for promises of politicians to take care of every corner of our lives, we get accused of being mean and uncaring. But we should be quick to point out we are opposed to excessive government because we are in favor of some very positive, important things. We want to limit government ultimately because we support freedom, without which life would hardly be worth living.
We want to limit government because we want to maximize opportunity, enterprise and creativity. We want to permit individuals to go as far as their talents, ambitions and industry can take them. We want to limit government because we want people to dream and have the room to bring those dreams to fruition, for themselves and their families.
We want to limit government because we want to strengthen other institutions of civil society that tend to shrink as government grows — institutions such as the family, church, community and the many voluntary associations that form the bedrock of American liberty, prosperity and self-reliance.
And we want to limit government because we’ve learned something from the thousands of years of experience with it — enough to know that it ought properly to be confined to certain minimal but critical functions and otherwise leave us alone.
History is littered with the wreckage of government planners and their presumptuous visions of “the common good.” They claim that to make an omelet, they must break a few eggs. But as they accumulate power, they kill or impoverish millions along the way. If Big Government ever earns a final epitaph, it will be this: “Here lies a contrivance cooked up by know-it-alls and busybodies who broke eggs with abandon but never, ever created an omelet.”
At the core of our principles are these indisputable truths: Government has nothing to give anybody except what it first takes from somebody, and a government that’s big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you’ve got.

No generation ever grasped the meaning of this better than that of the founders. One of them is credited with this astute observation: “Government is not reason. It is not eloquence. It is force. Like fire, it can be a dangerous servant or a fearful master.” In other words, even when government is no larger than what our founders wanted and if it does its job so well as to be a true “servant,” it’s still “dangerous.”

Keep government small and keep your eye on it because it will grab whatever power it can get its hands on at your expense.

.................
(Lawrence W. Reed, a resident of Newnan, is president of the Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington, N.Y., and Atlanta.)



More Opinion

Neighbors helping neighbors

“This is what it’s all about. This is what makes this place so great to work because we work together.” That quote could h ... Read More


Thank those in uniform

The Newnan Fire Department recently held its annual Christmas dinner at Fire Station 1. During the festivities, 21 members were awarded for ... Read More


Rants, Raves & Really?!?

A look back at last week’s highs, lows and whatevers: RANT: When people offer to help you, and help you keep from getting others conta ... Read More


Georgia Says

The Augusta Chronicle on Sen. Landrieu loss: CNN seems to want to believe voters just weren't listening to Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu's ra ... Read More


Expansion of water authority positive move

Coweta County’s Water and Sewerage Authority is getting ready to add new members. And it’s a needed move. Currently, the board h ... Read More

Moving EMT ops in-house

The Coweta County Board of Commissioners just made a very important decision, one that could impact every local resident. The fact it was a ... Read More