02 May 2010

Certainly there's nothing menacing about an organization with a legal monopoly on coercion and use of force...

...especially one with a budget of $3.5 trillion, ~100,000 non-military armed employees, and 99.999% of the total firepower in the country.
EconLog | Arnold Kling | Is Government a Menace?

Yesterday, President Obama said,
When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that in our democracy, government is us. We, the people -- (applause.) We, the people, hold in our hands the power to choose our leaders and change our laws, and shape our own destiny.
Government is not "us." Government is a relatively small handful of people with far too much power. Their exercise of vast powers is neither moral, Constitutional, nor effective. The power of the people does not include the power to stop bailouts or to stop health care reform. The power to elect our leaders is a very weak power. Our laws are passed by a Congress that, rather than enjoying the support of the vast majority of Americans, is according to polls opposed by the vast majority of Americans.

The Washington Post headlined President Obama's speech "a fiery plea for civility." Basically, he was calling on people to submit to his will and that of his party. But just as I would never donate money to a charity that gives to billionaires, I will not support the expansion of power for those who already exercise far too much.
[Emph. mine.]  Hrmmm.  I must have missed Obama talking about how "government is us" from 2000-2008.  I seem to remember a much different message coming from his camp.

I don't know why anyone would ever find the government menacing.

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