January 26, 2008 7 Comments
What would you call it if a person walked up and pointed a gun at you and demanded your money?
What if three guys did it? Would it be something else?
Of course not, it’s still robbery.
Okay, but suppose you live in a town of 100 people and 99 of them get together and decide to come to your house with guns and take your possessions. What’s that?
How many people would have to get involved before their taking your stuff was justified?
That’s silly, it doesn’t matter how many robbers come — it’s still robbery.
Of course not, Robbery is robbery regardless of what you do with the stolen property.
All of those scenarios were robbery and easily understood as wrong but we blindly accept this kind of robbery in America every day. In fact, many of us enthusiastically support it.
We just call it taxes.
Congress confiscates huge portions of our money every year and gives it away based upon their discretion. And, should we refuse to pay, the “authorities” would eventually show up at our door to take our money or our freedom by force. We are robbed, quite literally, at the point of a gun.
Quick Note: The previous analogy was borrowed from Walter E. Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University and frequent quest host of the Rush Limbaugh radio show.
I guess we tolerate this robbery because, at the moment, Congress behaves more like a mugger in an alley — taking only the money we have on us — and not like a home invader who comes and cleans us out. For the moment they leave us a portion of our earnings (and expect us to thank them for not stealing it all — how nice.)
I bring this concept up because this is an election year and most of the candidates are telling us they are no longer satisfied with what they can take from us in the alley. They plan to follow us home and steal everything we’ve got. Oh, they don’t put it in those words. They hide their intentions behind carefully crafted phrases like, “I don’t plan to raise taxes, I plan to raise hope,” and “I want to provide universal healthcare for every single American.”
They commit robbery and call it “charity.”
With one stark exception, every candidate for president (both Democrat and Republican) has grand schemes for our money. And, should we be in need of some of our own money, well, we’ll have to go take a number at a government office somewhere, wait our turn, fill out a bunch of forms (in triplicate) and beg — for the “privilege” of having the use of our own money.
I realize many readers would think I’m overreacting. Some might think I’m being alarmist. But let me remind you of something. Our country was founded on the principles of liberty. Our founders valued equity in opportunity not outcome. We all were to have an equal shot at making the best of our lives with the resources available to us. But we do not have a right to some arbitrary standard of living if it means robbing our fellow citizens to pay for it. That, my friends, is socialism. And, as much as I hate to point it out, our country has been on the march toward socialism for some time.
There was a time when Americans would have been shocked at the idea of an income tax (which, by the way, was a “temporary” government measure). There was a time Americans would have been appalled at the idea of Social Security (which, by the way, was supposed to be “optional”). There was a time Americans would have been angry at the concept of government intervention in the country’s health-care system.
But, our federal government has done all of these things and now we think of them as normal. And the thing we can’t seem to understand is that government intervention in our lives is a bad thing. I’ll give you just one example.
Government’s intervention in the American health-care system is destroying our health-care system. And the politicians’ answer to this problem is more intervention in the health-care system. I cannot emphasize this enough, universal government healthcare is a nightmare waiting to happen.
And of all the presidential candidates only one has unveiled an economic plan that is suitable for fixing this enormous bureaucratic mess.
But the most disturbing thing in this whole scene is the role many Christians are playing. Far too many of us have come to expect the state to be God’s instrument of grace when it’s not. Many of us — whether we realize it or not — view the state as some sort of savior. And when we come to a presidential election we often reject our King of kings and demand our own earthly king, instead.
America will become socialistic if we allow it. And when it does we can expect tyrannical government edicts (like this one) to become the norm.
As believers in Christ we need to understand the proper role of the Church and the proper role of the government. We also need to understand that robbery is robbery regardless of how you try to justify it.
And robbery is forbidden — just check the eighth commandment.
Bumper sticker of the day: