2012-02-15

Henninger Asks A Good Question

Here is Daniel Henninger of The Wall Street Journal:
The question raised by the Catholic Church's battle with ObamaCare is whether anyone can remain free of a U.S. government determined to do what it wants to do, at whatever cost.... 
The Catholic Church has stumbled into the central battle of the 2012 presidential campaign: What are the limits to Barack Obama's transformative presidency? The Catholic left has just learned one answer: When Mr. Obama says, "Everyone plays by the same set of rules," it means they conform to his rules. What else could it mean?
Here is part of a comment I left at MarginalRevolution.com:
Serious question for progressives: What would the circumstances look like such that we would have very good reason to lower spending levels? Or, is every set of circumstances an argument for a spending increase?
Increasingly, the question I find myself asking in today's world is not whether a given policy is a good idea, but rather this: What are the circumstances under which the policy should not be implemented?

We as a society must start asking this question again and again. Increasingly, I find that we are easily wagged by the political tail. The Canadian Conservatives can use a phrase like "child pornography" and suddenly millions of Canadians agree to internet surveillance. The US Republicans (and Democrats) can use the phrase "terrorism" and justify all kinds of inhumane airport and border behavior. Any question of government funding of ________ becomes a question of the ethics of "helping" versus "depriving" whatever special interest group an expanded social safety net.

So I pose a serious request to my readers, and the universe at large: If each and every one of these policies is justifiable, the please point me to the circumstances under which we do not ratify yet another increase to the size and scope of government. Anything at all.

If you believe in leftism, then fine. But does that mean each and every new entitlement program is justified, no matter what? Are circumstances truly so irrelevant? If you believe in rightism, then fine. But does that mean that each and every new anti-terrorism or anti-immigration policy is good and important?

Seriously, think about it. Is that really the way the universe is?