Politicians make the news today, talking about problems they say are big problems. In fact, they are small problems, and symptoms of much larger problems. Until the people embrace a solution to the larger problems, even the smaller problems will stay insoluble.
Big problem 1: the tax code
The scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service is one such problem. Everyone thinks the problem is either a bunch of rogue agents at the IRS, or a de facto President determined to punish his enemies through the taxing power. The real problem is much larger.
The problem is the tax code.
The problem is, we have a tax code that needs something called the Internal Revenue Service to enforce it. Replace this tax code, and we can abolish the IRS. Problem solved.
At least two solutions are available. We can institute a flat income tax or a flat sales tax, with an exemption or an advance rebates so that’s the poorest among us, who can barely afford to feed their families, need pay no tax at all.
Big problem 2: immigration
The immigration problem is more pressing. Thousands of children, varying in age from 5 to 17, are swarming our southern borders. They and their apologists say they are fleeing virtual war zones in their home countries. They actually are coming to America to qualify for free lunch and free schooling. And to make that point, the US Attorney General threatens to prosecute any superintendent of schools who excludes any of these new arrivals.
In this case, Barack Obama commits an impeachable offense. At best, his policies are criminally negligent. At worst he seeks to overload government charitable systems deliberately, to justify income guarantees or perhaps a federal school system. In this he has learned well from Richard A. Cloward and Frances Fox Piven. They proposed this same strategy in 1966.
Again, the larger problem is that too many people want the government to give people free lunch or other free stuff. People have confusing ideas about freedom. The founders envisioned a country free as in speech. Barack Obama and his allies what a country free as in lunch.
The late author Robert A. Heinlein said it first:
There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.
President John F. Kennedy further said:
And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.
But an anonymous French philosopher said it best of all:
Let do and let alone. The world goes on by itself.
Or in French:
Laissez faire et laissez passer. Le monde va de lui-même.
If the United States could return to letting people do and leaving people alone, no one would mind any number of immigrants coming in. The Libertarian Party calls for complete freedom of immigration. But they also call to abolish government charity. In this they identify the worst problem with unrestricted immigration, that new immigrants become the government’s clients. When unaccompanied come in, the problem is worse. This raises the spectacle of the government’s raising these children in institutions under its exclusive control, and inculcating in them the values of a country free as in lunch, not free as in speech.
Sadly, this problem lies at the heart of the dispute between two sets of politicians in Congress and in state legislatures today. The only way the people can solve this problem is with their votes. And to decide how to vote, the people must first decide whether they want a country free as in speech, or free as in lunch.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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