The problem for New Jersey and other states -- and Washington -- is that governments are run by politicians whose main focus is their re-election. In this pursuit they don't want to say "no" to anyone's request for an earmark, a project, a program, or an "entitlement." The result has been a growing addiction by too many people to government instead of reliance on self. As more become dependent on government, more vote to preserve the status quo. And rabid political opponents will set upon anyone who suggests a cut in spending.
Welfare reform should have taught a valuable lesson. There were claims that people would starve in the streets if their welfare checks were ended and recipients were forced to get jobs. They got jobs and no one starved.
Government must begin weaning people from government. If it won't, we the people must do it. All programs should be continually subject to reauthorization and justification. Social Security and Medicare should be means-tested with incentives for people not to sign-up for them. Families should take care of elderly parents, like they once did. Government should be a last resort, not a first resource.
Just as too many have been conditioned to turn to government, we must be reconditioned to turn away from government and embrace the higher virtue of liberty. We can't go on taxing and spending ourselves into financial oblivion. New Jersey proves there are limits. Does the Obama administration and a Democratic Congress understand? Will they learn from history?
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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