ASK NOT. . .


In January of 1961, my wonderful father kept my sister Robin and me home from high school for a morning so that we could watch the televised inaugural address of President Kennedy.  His reason was that we would probably learn more by seeing that history unfold than we would learn in our two missed classes.  And he was right.  So we heard our new president end his address with the famous lines “And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you.  Ask what you can do for your country.”  Of course, President Kennedy was a liberal Democrat, but that captured the spirit of America at that time.  So how far away from that spirit have we strayed?

Then in President Bill Clinton’s State of the Union address in January of 1996 he famously proclaimed that “The era of big government is over. . . . We know big government does not have all the answers.  We know there’s not a program for every problem.  And we have to give the American people (a government) that lives within its means.”  Of course, President Clinton was also a liberal Democrat, but that also captured the spirit of America at that time.   And also in the mid 1990s a long-time US Senator proclaimed that he had – on four occasions – introduced entire plans to balance the federal budget – and now that man is the President of the United States!  President Biden seems to be echoing the spirit of America both then and now, because today we see an increasingly large number of people saying: “Ask always what your country can do for you.” Do we now believe that there is a program for every problem?  For a partial answer to that question Google the words “The Plum Book.”  You will see that this is a more than 200-page single-spaced government publication that simply lists all of the government positions that are appointed by a president, with about half of them being required to be confirmed by the Senate.  Pages and pages of them, and with most of those positions paying a salary around $170,000 per year!  Big Government is thriving, because it is exceptionally good at one thing, and that is to increase the size, power and cost of Big Government.  And this will continue until We the People change our spirit and demand otherwise! 

Thought for the week:  “A loaf of bread is like the sun: It rises in the yeast, and sets in the waist.”

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

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