The Hidden Danger of Big Government

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The Hidden Danger of Big Government

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he cover story of the April 21, 2008, issue of U.S. News & World Report was "The Return of Big Government."

It's prediction: "More taxes. More regulation. More spending"—regardless of who is elected as America's next president.

The U.S. Federal Register—which records new and existing federal regulations—contains over 75,000 pages! Compare this to the Christian Bible. It contains virtually all the laws that governed ancient Israel. Yet, by comparison, it is a tiny book!

Why do governments become inflated with regulations?

For one thing, governments seem to expand as the moral character of their people declines. When the character of a people declines, so does the character of elected leaders. True statesmen are gradually outnumbered by career politicians focused mostly on public prestige.

Also, when increased percentages of ordinary people are not willing to voluntarily live by the laws of the land, more laws are made to plug legal loopholes and control criminal activity. Each new law requires additional funding for its enforcement. Such measures deal with the effects instead of the underlying causes of citizen irresponsibility.

In the eighteenth century Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor, wrote: "A democracy is always temporary in nature ... A democracy will continue to exist until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship."

He went on to say that nations generally progress in the following manner: "From bondage to spiritual faith. From spiritual faith to great courage. From courage to liberty. From liberty to abundance. From abundance to complacency. From complacency to apathy. From apathy to dependence. From dependence back into bondage."

The three primary causes, according to historians, for the fall of the mighty Roman Empire were its decline in morality, its weakened economy and its unmanageable influx of foreigners who simply crossed its borders without permission. Much can be learned from the decline and disintegration of that empire.

One of America's great strengths has been that its government is a republic, not a pure democracy. A republic is governed first and foremost by its constitution. The U.S. constitution was crafted to reflect, in large part, many biblical principles that were acceptable to a majority of Americans at that time. But many of its political leaders now seem to be pushing the U.S. toward a pure democracy with no biblical roots.

The history of pure democracies is that they destroy themselves. Each citizen is tempted to vote for candidates or legislation that would seem to help him in the short run rather than for what is best for the country in the long run. Short term political goals lead to more taxes, more regulation, less liberty and a weaker economy. Printing money then becomes the alternative to raising taxes, resulting in more inflation and a devaluation of the nation's currency.

Today, the U.S. is bleeding to death financially. Costs from acting as the world's policeman have become astronomical. Welfare programs cost even more. And the nation's economy is propped up by loans and investments from other countries.

As a result, respect for and confidence in America is plummeting. Its economic leadership also is declining. This could lead to financial and military vulnerability simply because "The borrower is servant to the lender" (Proverbs 22:7 Proverbs 22:7The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
American King James Version×
).

President Ronald Reagan, at a prayer breakfast in 1984, said: "And without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under."

Deuteronomy 28 lists blessings that God is willing to bestow on a people when they obey His laws. But it also lists disasters that will befall them if they persistently disobey those laws. Notice this financial warning for such disobedience: "The alien who is among you ... shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail" (Deuteronomy 28:43-44 Deuteronomy 28:43-44 [43] The stranger that is within you shall get up above you very high; and you shall come down very low. [44] He shall lend to you, and you shall not lend to him: he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail.
American King James Version×
).

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