Immodest Government

The president and Congress have to decide for us what charities we should support with our money. They need to determine what health-insurance benefits we should buy. From what kinds of light bulbs we buy to how our toilets flush, our political leaders are needed to design and micromanage our lives. They know what we should eat and what we should earn. They understand how much an airline should charge for baggage fees and know, down to the last decimal point, what the proper fee for processing a credit-card transaction is. And they can do all this while fine-tuning the economy and nation-building overseas.

The next great technological breakthrough might be a mystery to most of us, but it won’t be a mystery to the politicians in Washington. They can pick the winners and losers of the future. They know exactly how many miles to the gallon a car should get, and whether oil or wind power is a better investment. When President Obama argues that businessmen didn’t really build their businesses, he is reflecting the Washington mindset. How could business owners do anything on their own? They need Washington.

Of course, Congress also sees itself as uniquely qualified to make our moral choices, because clearly preachers, churches, and our own consciences can’t do the job. Congress isn’t just uniquely brilliant, it’s uniquely moral.

via Immodest Government – Michael Tanner – National Review Online.


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