Friday, June 5, 2009

When the Taxpayers Walk

The administration of Barack Obama has embarked on the most interventionist agenda that we have seen in two generations. Like all episodes of expansionist government, the first steps are easy. Lots of speeches, meetings, legislation signing ceremonies, conferences, yada, yada, yada. There is an appearance of action and vigor (Vigah, as JFK used to say).

But once it's launched, the sobering reality sets in. It is very hard to downsize big government. Whatever it creates, it's around for a long time. And has to be paid for.

In the long run, it never works. Big government becomes expensive and oppressive, and the people get sick of paying taxes to support it. They drop out, physically in the celebrated case of the ancient Hebrews in Egypt, or psychologically. They just don't want to do the work necessary to support the visions of their political overseers while their own aspirations are shortchanged.

Caveat emptor!