Bill Murchison

Really? How could we have supposed all this time that a tax was a levy on income or consumption -- on a positive activity, that's to say? We suddenly find it's about non-activity: of which there's a lot in this old world. So Congress and the president tax you for non-purchase of insurance. Why not for non-membership in a gym intended to slim down our population of 300-pound pre-diabetics? Once you start grooving on "good ideas," you can command a whole lot of stuff to get done, or not get done, never mind the spirit of limited government that once underlay the Constitution.

No genius can figure out what government could do "for us" if it really tried. Easier to figure is what it might instead do "to us" once it really decided to save us: narrowing choices, curtailing the varied freedoms of action Americans still enjoy. That's why there's this lawsuit in Florida (as in other venues), where the wait-a-cotton-picking-minute spirit has Our Protectors at least momentarily on the defensive.

The upcoming election is about jobs, Lord, yes, and about a lot of other things as well. It's mainly, though -- due to the Obama administration's salivating love of Big Government -- about freedom. The voters may have a lesson in mind for our federal keepers and overseers. That lesson: climb down a ways off our backs. No one pretends we're about to demolish every federal program instituted since Andy Jackson. We might do something actually more fitting: Serve notice on the powerful that power, in a democracy, has limits, and that those who ignore those limits ... well, let's just say we may find out soon.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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