America drifts from Jefferson’s definition of government
To the Editor:
Thomas Jefferson said in his First Inaugural Address, “A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”
For decades, America has drifted away from this definition of government, and because of that we are now a country with huge financial problems. Sadly, few people understand this fact.
To some, Jefferson's view might appear too simplistic, and I understand that, in this complex world, government needs to provide our citizens with at least a minimum “safety net” in regard to food, shelter, and medical care. However, as Arthur Brooks points out in The Road To Freedom, “America's minimum ‘safety net’ has become appallingly broad. It has little to do with helping the poor, and a lot to do with passing out favors to voters and smoothing the risks out of ordinary life.”
Our Founders' goal of a limited government that promotes a free enterprise system isn't perfect, but as Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said, “The free enterprise system has lifted more people out of poverty than all the government anti-poverty programs combined.” It is the reason our ancestors came to this country, and it is the reason Americans across the country need to elect candidates who agree with the following:
1) Government's role is not to create jobs, but rather it is to create a tax and regulatory environment that eliminates uncertainty and corporate cronyism, so business owners can plan and grow a profitable business that will continue to hire more and more people.
2) Our government needs to live within a defined budget, just like its citizens.
3) For far too long, our government has been over promising us programs it couldn't afford to deliver on a long-term basis.
4) Our elected officials need to educate the public about the ramifications of our country's financial situation, particularly as they relate to our $15 trillion of debt and approximately $50 trillion of unfunded liabilities to cover the cost of entitlement programs (social insurance programs) such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
5) Our elected officials need to implement a plan to reform entitlement programs that protects those in and near retirement, but also assures that our children won't be “taxed to death” and become the first generation in our nation's history to have a lower standard of living than their parents.
Candidates for federal office, if you agree with the above and have the desire and skill not only educate the public about the facts but also be able to explain the moral benefits of a frugal government, you are the right person to represent Connecticut in Washington.
David A. Ellison