Bill Murchison

The last thing to which the principle led was, of course, Obamacare, the scripted takeover by government of one-sixth of the American economy. Maybe the U. S. Supreme Court will grasp the constitutional irony of allowing a government of supposedly limited powers to operate with no limits.

Thus with other elements of the Great Society, the federal takeover of public education began with passage, at Johnson's instance, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. The government's latest education gig is the quest for a set of national standards. Creation of the Job Corps, for training of unemployed workers, created no lasting new jobs but lots of new government dependents, eager for government grants to multiply.

Lyndon Johnson got things done. To a monumental extent, he got the wrong things done while borrowing heavily against the future. That he probably thought he was doing good isn't the main point. The point is an ancient one: Beware power; it corrupts, undermines liberty, and empties treasuries. Save us from dynamic politicians, as well as from egotistical by barely competent ones, is a prayer that makes sense. Maybe the dull, middling kind is the kind that best serves people who love liberty.

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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