by R. Landon Owens

Liberty has never come from Government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of limitations of governmental power, not the increase of it.”
~Woodrow Wilson

In 1900, government employees made up 1.4% of the U.S. population. Today they make up 7.3%, and account for nearly $200 billion dollars of our national budget. One has to wonder how we got to this point and where it is taking us.

With every increase in government we lose more liberty in every sense of the word. How has the government ramped up operations while keeping us blind to it all? Fear, fear, and more fear. Rahm Emanuel has said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” For example, after 9/11 Americans were introduced to the PATRIOT Act. On the surface this sounds like a good thing. However, it did nothing but infringe upon American rights by throwing the Fourth Amendment out the window.  Recently tragedy struck Sandy Hook, and you can bet something will happen to our Second Amendment in the aftermath. Currently 44 million Americans are without health insurance. The issue isn’t with the availability of healthcare or insurance–though that’s what the government sought to convey–so along came the Affordable Care Act.  The issue really lies with the quality of jobs and the state of our economy, which is something else the government is pushing to control more of with every passing day. When the housing bubble burst in 2008, the government jumped at the opportunity to bail out the banks; in return, we got more regulation on how we earn, save, and spend our money. Regulation paralyzes the free market. If you want to start up a new business you might want to watch out for the 26 federal agencies that may shut you down before you even open your doors to the public. Keep an eye out for state and local agencies as well. It takes roughly two months to start a business in New York City; in Hong Kong, it takes a day.

Thomas Jefferson said, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” So how do we go about reclaiming our liberty? We need to be educated in what’s going on with our legislature. We need to be aware of what legislators are actually allowed to do according to our Constitution, and remind them that they work for the American people. Right now Congress is trying to pass laws allowing drones over American soil (Fourth Amendment violation). They are attempting to limit our rights to protect ourselves through the dismemberment of the Second Amendment, and avoid spending cuts by raising taxes again. We need to be vigilant in protecting our freedoms because, as Benjamin Franklin said, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”