Emmett Tyrrell

Personal liberty makes each American citizen a creature of dignity. Obama overlooks this. Though in presenting Congress a $3.9 trillion budget Feb. 24 he insisted that he's not for big government, he is. Consider the vastness of the budget, its far-reaching domestic policies, and much of his background as a community organizer. Clearly, he is a big-government guy. No other American president has been so committed to big government.

Historically, most of our experiences with big government have been unhappy. Big government is expensive, inefficient and, once corrupted, very difficult to clean up. Moreover, once a government bureaucracy has made its judgment on you, whom do you appeal to? With Obamacare, government will decide when and whether you can get that knee replacement. From the clear utterances of the president's health care advisers, namely, Ezekiel Emanuel and David Blumenthal, that knee replacement will depend on such factors as your age and your overall health. If you are too old or decrepit, government will have a more economical place to spend its money. In other words, your health will not be decided by what you want to pay for it, but by government policy. That test you wanted for colon cancer might be denied. You might just be too old. Such decisions are made by the nationalized British system all the time.

Almost any service the government provides can be more efficiently and effectively provided by private enterprise. The most striking example is the inefficiency of the money-losing U.S. Postal Service, which has been swept aside by the Internet and by such private carriers as UPS and FedEx. Government is not even very effective in its efforts at regulation. Consider the recent failures of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

There is another unappreciated failing of government. It politicizes everything that it touches, including the simplest human relations. Agreements that ought to be arrived at voluntarily or through the rule of law are arrived at by lobbyists or thanks to the political power of your group -- ethnic, economic or otherwise.

One of the little-noted projects of the government health care reforms being considered on Capitol Hill today is the channeling of health care money away from the elderly and toward community services and drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Equal rights before the law is all well and good, but it is political favor and political power that matter when big government is making your decisions for you.

That is why so many Americans have opted for freedom from government. We recognize that the free society is the most humane ... and the most productive.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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