Unraveling the "Costless" Government

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Aug 13, 2009 9:40 PM
One reason that Barack Obama is so desperate to get a health bill -- almost any health bill -- signed into law is because he understands what it will do: Place another brick in the wall of Big Government.  Once government has begun to take over health care, it's only a matter of time until, through a series of additions, amendments, and tweaks, it's running more of it than the public ever dreamed.  Republican efforts to roll back or repeal Big Government health will be greeted with the same kinds of hysteria and scare tactics that have accompanied efforts to institute school choice (education reform) and any changes to Social Security.

If small government Republicans ever want to try the same kind of "institutionalizing" of their ideas that every new government program represents for big government liberals, they ought to take note of this op/ed from Charles Murray, advocating the repeal of withholding and a separate payroll tax.  If Americans understood how much they are really paying for their government, chances are that they'd be less susceptible to the left-wing siren song promising more government benefits for "nothing."

When I consulted for the 1994 US Senate campaign of John Ashcroft, he advocated this policy.  Then, no one listened.  Could it now be an idea whose time has come?