Mark Twain on Government

Judge Andrew Napolitano had it right when he said, to paraphrase, that U.S. Democrats and Republicans are the same Big Government Party, with a Welfare wing and a Warfare wing. When all you’re fighting over most of the time is a 15% increase in far too much spending already vs. a 20% one, it can’t honestly be called anything other than big government.

On that note, I love this slice of wisdom from the late great Samuel Clemens:

“The mania for giving the Government power to meddle with the private affairs of cities or citizens is likely to cause endless trouble, through the rivalry of schools and creeds that are anxious to obtain official recognition, and there is great danger that our people will lose our independence of thought and action which is the cause of much of our greatness, and sink into the helplessness of the Frenchman or German who expects his government to feed him when hungry, clothe him when naked, to prescribe when his child may be born and when he may die, and, in time, to regulate every act of humanity from the cradle to the tomb, including the manner in which he may seek future admission to paradise.” – Mark Twain, “Official Physic,” The Twainian, November, 1943

Well, here’s the kicker. For the United States, where the total debt and future unpaid liabilities of our federal government exceeds the GDP of all other countries – throughout the entire course of history – combined, I would say it’s fair to call that a little bit of a problem. If anyone thinks that increasing government’s size and scope is a better solution to that problem than cutting government substantially (and some would argue completely), then by all means, they can feel free to defend that position. They just won’t be able to convince me that it makes any sense.

Photo: Nicolas Raymond

Photo: Nicolas Raymond