The Law Is Your Only Friend

As government grows ever larger, there is the belief that one can avoid its more pernicious effects if only one has a friend in the bureaucracy who can cut through the red tape when it really counts. 

The limited government experiment enacted by America’s Founding Fathers has been hijacked by do-gooders afraid of self-reliance who believe big government is necessary to protect everyone from everything in a futile effort resulting in Americans requiring protection from the very big government beast they have created. These do-gooders would have the government peek into every area of our lives to “protect us” from every harm real or imagined. Every disaster or tragedy is met with calls for government to do more, which requires more government in a vicious cycle of government growth.

Government takes from the productive class to provide services unavailable from the private sector. Government resources are thus finite and limited, requiring that they be extremely well managed to gain the maximum effect from their limited supply. Government growth is a drain on economic activity because it requires an increasing amount of the limited capital business requires for operation and expansion. Draining this capital away from productive enterprises slows the economy and results in less revenue government can siphon off for its operations.

The point is that government is limited by both the resources it consumes and the services it is able to provide. Government will never have enough resources to accomplish what big government supporters envision, and it will never be able to provide the services its politicians promise with an unmotivated bureaucracy relying on anonymity and lifetime civil service employment protection. Victims of Hurricane Sandy in the northeast are discovering to their dismay the limits of government assistance in their hour of need. In this, they can commiserate with the victims of Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast.

As government grows ever larger, it becomes less and less responsive to the needs of its citizens as its finite resources are stretched ever thinner. Presently, we have reached the point where our economy is resisting the diversion of a greater share of its productive capacity to fund the expansion of government. Calls for more taxes and more regulation have stymied business expansion as the wealthy search for more productive areas in which to invest their capital. Without more resources, government services will continue to be stretched thin and get even thinner as government continues to grow.

Americans attempt to deal with the increase in government intervention by either lowering their profile in a form of hiding below the government’s radar so to speak, or by developing relationships with bureaucrats they hope will be sympathetic and helpful in their hour of need. The problem with the first strategy is that one must voluntarily limit their economic growth or employ numerous strategies to manage this growth that consumes their time. The problem with the second approach is that no bureaucrat is going to risk their steady employment to solve your problems. Even if you are lucky enough to identify such an individual, they will eventually retire leaving you with the problem of identifying a replacement surrogate.

The Founders’ vision of limited government sought to place the rule of law at the center of one’s experience with government. The rule of law, equally applied to all Americans, was meant to be the mechanism that protects Americans from the whims of those wielding the levers of government power. The clamor for interventionist jurists who redefine Constitutional intentions to bypass Congress and create laws is a direct threat to the proposition of equality before the law. Americans’ only friend is the law, and its perversion destroys its ability to protect us from the government.

It bears repeating that laws are established for our protection from each other and from our government. The current Administration stonewalling over flagrant abuses of the law such as the Fast & Furious gunrunning scandal and the Benghazi Embassy terrorist attack weaken the law’s ability to protect Americans from their government by allowing government officials to engage in massive crimes with no accountability. In other words, these government officials have placed themselves above the law which is our only protection from them and their abuses.

The Constitution spells out the legal framework of our government and explicitly lists its limitations in order to protect the rights of Americans from its inherent power. It was not created to give power to the government, but to protect us from the power of government. The only prudent course for Americans is to place their trust in the law to secure their liberty from the tyranny of big government. The law is our only friend and our only protection, and it should not depend on the whims of those charged with its administration. When you are staring up at a judge behind a bench, do you want to have to depend on his goodwill for your protection or on the law’s equal protection and just application?

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