At the beginning of Wednesday’s session of the TABOR Negation Fiscal Stability Commission, Chairman Rollie Heath asked the commission members to introduce themselves.Â HD-6 Rep. Lois Court, who was a strong supporter of Amendment 59, and campaigned on the repeal of tax and spending limits, had this to say (I’m doing this from memory, but it’s very close):
I teach political science at a local community college, and I always tell my students that society is like a wheel, and the people are the spokes.Â And it’s the job of the government to keep the wheel balanced.
This statement followed a theme of the day: that the job of the commission is to determine what kind of society we want to have, and then figure out how to fund that.
Unfortunately, this is exactly backwards.Â It is decidedly not the job of the government to decide what kind of society we want to have.Â If anything, it’s the job of society to determine what kind of government we want to have.Â The miracle of a strong civil society is that the wheel is largely self-balancing.Â Given the chance to for free associations, people will, of their own accord, form counter-balances to forces that get out of control.Â They won’t do so immediately, and they won’t do so unfailingly, but the first instinct of the government of a free society should be to let that happen, rather that to try to impose a balance from above.
The two main motivations for those who want government to impose a balance on your life are 1) to make themselves feel and be important, 2) to reward their friends and punish their enemies, and to do so with your money, and by making decisions for you.