Larry Elder

Someone did an experiment to test an old tale -- that a frog placed in a pot of cool water, which is then slowly and continuously heated, will be boiled to death. By contrast, if thrown directly into scalding hot water, the frog jumps out. But it turns out that, no, once the water got hot enough, the critter hopped out of Dodge.

This raises a question. At what point does the continuous growth and intrusiveness of government make people wake up? This is not just a matter of theory or philosophy. People are hurting -- as a direct result of President Barack Obama, his party, and the inability of the GOP to make the case for a smaller, less expensive and less intrusive government.

For five years, we have watched as President Barack Obama successfully pushed the following "redistributionist" agenda for building an economy: Take from the most productive to stimulate the economy by redistributing money, often with political consideration involved or attached; allow bureaucrats to pick winners and losers in the market; issue feel-good, top-down regulations that cost jobs and do little to improve conditions; and dictate the terms of health care with ObamaCare, a monstrosity that places one-seventh of our economy under the control of the federal government.

The results are in.

This is the worst economic recovery since World War II. Unemployment remains high. So many able-bodied people are dropping out of the labor force that the "labor force participation rate" remains near a 30-year low.

In 1900, government at all three levels took about 10 percent of our income. Today, government takes nearly 50 percent, or twice as much as people say government should. Yet when pollsters ask Americans how much money should government, at all three levels -- state, local and federal -- take from them, their answer has been consistent for decades: 25 percent.

Why, then, aren't politicians in Washington, D.C., cowering under their desks, as angry constituents pound on their doors?

People, in the abstract, talk about freedom and liberty. But government dependency is so widespread that we accept the benefits -- unaware that the costs are much higher than we think.

Nearly half of the federal budget goes to the three major entitlement programs: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. All of these programs address problems that the Constitution never intended. How do we know? Earlier presidents, citing constitutional reasons, rejected congressional attempts at growing the government.

In 1822, James Monroe, our fifth president, cast his only veto in rejecting an expansion of the Cumberland Road, even through it stood to economically benefit his home state of Virginia.


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.


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