We’re back to the Big Government/Small Government debate which I outlined here. The only way any society can thrive and do well is for government to stay limited in power, and do what it is charged with, managing the resources of the state and regulating (as in keeping things flowing smoothly, not writing endless laws) the aspects of the society that interact with each other. When you allow bureaucrats too much power, you end up with what we’re seeing now in California, NY, New Jersey, the Federal Government: corrupt, bankrupt and dysfunctional disasters in their death throes.
This article on the problems New Jersey Governor Chris Christie faces spells out the problem well.
What voters in Jersey discovered instead is that decades of political maneuvering have rigged the game against them, and some seem to be taking their frustration out on Christie. When he urged them to defeat local school budgets that built in big spending increases, voters in nearly 60 percent of towns complied. But that only sent the budgets to the local town councils, some of whom ignored voters and rubber-stamped the big spending increases and the higher property taxes that go along with them. Voters won’t have the opportunity to vote the officials who ignored their will out of office for a few years, and anyway, some Jersey local governments are controlled by political machines which can withstand a little voter anger.
Christie has also earned the ire of some of the very voters who supported him, including suburban homeowners. That’s because he mostly eliminated a program of property tax rebates as part of his budget-balancing act. The rebates, ostensibly designed to relieve local tax pressures, have been unsuccessful; instead both state taxes used to pay for the rebates and local property taxes have been rising rapidly for years. Yet in a state where people have become cynical about taxes ever moderating, the rebate checks were one tangible piece of relief for homeowners.
The system is rigged against anyone being able to fix it. It’s as if someone made a train accelerate, then cut the brake lines, so it can’t be stopped. It will crash and when it does a lot of people will be hurt or killed. And when that happens, perhaps the statists, who are locked in power by the system they corrupted, will then be able to reboot the system the way they wanted to from the start.
We are faced with some of the most difficult times of our lives unless we stop the train wreck of state from happening. Fortunately, the problem is largely centered on the so called Blue States. The progressives ran things this way. Red states like Texas have managed not to get themselves in this mess. But a lot of other states are somewhere between New Jersey and Texas. California is headed in the New Jersey direction.
If you want to know what the real argument between fiscal conservatives and “progressives” is, this is it. One side is for a system that works, the other is for a corrupt, dysfunctional system they can control and abuse.