Opinion

Nicholas Wapshott

The high cost of hating government

By Nicholas Wapshott
January 2, 2013

The tourniquet applied by the outgoing Congress to the economy allows a two-month breather before we are consumed by the next deadline. The president and his party can allow themselves a brief moment of celebration for imposing higher taxes on the richest Americans, but the next stage in fixing the nation’s fiscal problems may not be as easy. By the end of February, lawmakers must find enough cuts in public spending to allow the debt ceiling to be raised. Two more months of uncertainty will prevent businesses and consumers from making spending decisions that would bolster the economic recovery.

The devil is not so much in the detail of the arguments to come as the big picture that frames the debilitating running debate. While the difference between the sides is ostensibly over taxes and public spending and borrowing, the more profound division is over where government should begin and end. For many of the Republican Party’s Tea Party insurgents, the choice is even more fundamental: whether there should be a government at all. Their unbending position, demanding an ever-diminishing role for the federal government, has levied an enormous unnecessary cost on everyone else.

Since Republicans regained control of the House in the 2010 mid-terms, when the Tea Party tide was in full force, they have attempted to freeze the size of government, coincidentally putting a brake on economic recovery. They have vetoed attempts at further economic stimulus, encouraged America’s economy to be downgraded by the ratings agencies by threatening not to extend the debt ceiling, and tried to veto any and every tax increase in the fiscal cliff talks. Their aim is to shrink government by starving it of funds. Such uncompromising absolutism has led to the dampening of business confidence and investment that would have created jobs.

It is not just the economy that has suffered from the absolute positions held by the anti-government rump in the GOP. Their insistence that the Founding Fathers intended us to be allowed to carry guns of any sort, including the rapid-fire assault weapon that killed 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut, last month, continues to hamper attempts to curb the nation’s murderous gun violence. Ghosts from the eighteenth century are preying on our school-children, abetted by those who believe that compromise on amending our gun laws is surrendering to the forces of big government. Such unbending absolutism costs human lives.

Similarly, suspicion of government is behind the growth in home schooling, that narrows the education of children, deprives them of a sense of community, and diminishes their social skills. It came as little surprise to read reports that the Newtown shooter was kept home from school by his mother, a “survivalist” or “Doomsday Prepper”, who stockpiled food and guns because she expected an imminent economic apocalypse. Such paranoia about the role of government is a recurring theme in our society’s most appalling massacres, from the bombing of the Federal Government Building in Oklahoma City in 1995 by the anti-government militiaman Timothy McVeigh, who killed 168, including 19 children, to the FBI siege of the anti-government Branch Davidian sect in Waco, Texas, in 1993, that left 76 dead.

Hostility to government also ensures that health care is unnecessarily expensive. The average cost of American health care is $8,233 per person per year, the most expensive in the developed world. In comparable Western countries such as France, which has a private health insurance mandate administered by the state, it is $3,974. In Britain, which for 65 years has enjoyed a taxation-funded national health system, it is $3,433. As much as Americans may prefer to believe that they have a health care system second to none, there is little discernible difference between the quality of health care provided, nor the efficacy of the medicine administered in the three countries, while dealing with the health insurance bureaucracy here is considerably more time-wasting, expensive, and irritating.

Changes in demography, with Americans living longer and using more medical resources to enjoy a tolerable quality of life, mean that health care costs will continue to rise unless reforms are made. The easiest way to reduce American health care costs would be for the federal government to provide a “single payer” alternative to compete with the near-monopolistic private health insurance companies. But such a system is considered an abomination by absolutists who demand that the federal government should keep out of healthcare. The harsh alternative is to cut the amount of care the system provides to the elderly. Again, an unbending attitude to the government’s role and responsibilities comes at an exorbitant cost.

Conservative theologians have devoted themselves to explaining why government interference is a bad thing. For Milton Friedman, the American system of government was so monetized from the moment the Republic was founded, and so open to corruption, that he always advocated small government – at least in the United States. For the Austrian thinker Friedrich Hayek, writing in his influential masterwork The Road to Serfdom, a burgeoning state could lead to tyranny. To be fair to Hayek, who wrote his topical tract as World War Two was drawing to a close, he was principally concerned that free enterprise might continue to be stifled by the imperatives of the wartime command economy once peace was declared. In The Road to Serfdom, in a passage often ignored by contemporary conservatives, he insisted that all governments should provide a generous safety net for the needy, homes for the homeless, and universal health care.

Tea Party members owe less to conservative thinkers such as Friedman and Hayek than to uncompromising proponents of the untrammelled free market such as the libertarians Ayn Rand and Ron Paul. When the new Congress comes to head off another fiscal cliff crisis at the end of next month, it will take courage from the Republican leadership to keep their extreme wing in check. If they fail to do so and they demand too deep cuts to public spending too quickly, they will not only cause the American economy to return to recession but may find that the middle ground voters who decide elections will add together the vast cost of their allies’ absolutist intransigence and keep them in opposition forever.

Nicholas Wapshott’s Keynes Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economics is published by W.W. Norton. Read extracts here.

PHOTO: A U.S. flag hangs over stockings left as a memorial for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, along a fence surrounding the Sandy Hook Cemetery in Newtown, Connecticut December 27, 2012. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Comments
23 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Congrats Nick, you manage to disprove you central argument within your very own article. The OKC bombing was carried out with farming supplies and a U-Haul, proving that the problem is not the weapons but the empty hearts of so many people in this country.

These empty hearts are the result of 50 years of liberal infestation in our schools, entertainment complex, news media and government. A constant glorification of violence and perverse behavior. A constant insistence that there is no god and that the individual is nothing.

So just go ahead and ride this tragedy to its useful ends and ban everything you can. For we know that governments that are not accountable to its people have killed so many millions the 26 poor souls in Newtown will be less than the rounding error.

Posted by RIPatriot | Report as abusive
 

Denial is a river.

@RIPatriot Dont cry. It’s ok. Nobody is going to take your little guns or remove your manhood. It’s ok, dear.

Posted by krimsonpage | Report as abusive
 

The author writes: “The easiest way to reduce American health care costs would be for the federal government to provide a “single payer” alternative to compete with the near-monopolistic private health insurance companies.”

Could not agree more. This seems like common sense to most people in the developed world. Given that even private insurance is inherently socialistic anyway (everybody puts their money in a pool and the fattest chain-smoker wins)… you might as well take the overhead and profit out of it. Why should a middle-man profit when the doctors and nurses do all the work?

Posted by AlkalineState | Report as abusive
 

I will take exception to your comment regarding the Tea Parties opposition “whether there should be any government at all”. Obviously, your biases (more of a journalist “rant”) are obstructing your understanding of the Tea Party, as well as Libertarians–as neither are “absolutists” as you describe.

Each embraces the idea of “limited government” typically defined under the terms of the Constitution. That if you allow people to pursue their personal interests, with limited constraints, everyone benefits. If one takes a moment to read the Constitution, you can see where the federal government, since the 1930′s, has involved itself in legislation that is constitutionally outside its purview. Thus, both Tea Party advocates and Libertarians support a return to a federal government that is focused on its core tasks–and little or nothing beyond that.

Their positions are not that there should not be any rules–as some rules are required for society to function, both in civil and economic terms. However, professional politicians are inclined to “over-reach” in order to rationalize their existence.

It is also important to note that as a result of the legislation passed January 1 to avoid the fiscal cliff hit every working person with a 2% tax increase–and at lease seven of Obamacare’s other taxes kick in.

Posted by COindependent | Report as abusive
 

Mr. Wapshott

I agree with many of your arguments however, no one has been able to explain the following: if the Tea Partiers hate government so much why are so many of them employed by it? So far as I know, every member of the Tea Party caucus in the House is a government employee with government benefits and health care. Why would you every work for an organization you hate? If the Tea Partiers ought to practice what they preach and foreswear all government subsidies and benefits.

Posted by Butters_Stotch | Report as abusive
 

Tell you what, Nicholas Wapshott.
You re-write this again after you sober up, and I’ll re-read it, and make sure that I am still sober the second time.
Thinking like yours has left it’s mark in history, giving Democracy a lifespan of 200-250 years before it dies.

Posted by skeeteril | Report as abusive
 

Tell you what, Nicholas Wapshott.
You re-write this again after you sober up, and I’ll re-read it, and make sure that I am still sober the second time.
Thinking like yours has left it’s mark in history, giving Democracy a lifespan of 200-250 years before it dies.

Posted by skeeteril | Report as abusive
 

Mr. Wapshott, you advocate denial of the real and present choices that must be made. Americans are presently living in a fantasy world where printing presses can create endless dollars and the actions and words of politicians of both parties tell them that there is no inflation nor will there be.

The very fact that America has a regular need to increase it’s debt limit is proof positive that we are not living within our means. It’s one thing to advocate doing that in a period of recession or depression and quite another to do it as a continuing “way of life”. Greece has shown us the future of going down that path too far.

Our politicians also live in a fantasy world where they can be re-elected again and again simply by playing voters off one against the other. So long as “we, the people are continuously squabbling over contraception, abortion, welfare, illegal immigration, the cost of medical care, and extending unemployment benefits for YEARS, they will never present us with the choices that must be made if America is to return to a fiscally sustainable economy.

A society reflects the incentives and disincentives of it’s tax system. Today our tax system encourages “support” without end and explosive growth in the number of our unemployed and our “forever poor”. These are our unskilled, unmotivated, uneducated, uneducable, unemployable, unwanted mouths who take more and more from our economy and offer nothing back. They respond with resounding “success” in producing ever more of themselves in endless cycle.

This country is well able to afford anything it’s people need. There will never be a country that can afford everything it’s people want, but our politicians have “led us down the garden path” in that direction for far too long. “We, the people must decide (1) what we would have our government do, and prioritize funding for each of these ONLY from available revenue. Once this is done, NO MORE increases in the debt limit!

Until we do that, there is no limit to how big our government will grow or to the funds it will extract from us in tribute to support such growth. Our current path is a long, straight one through Socialism with the state-managed communes of Communism at the end. The failed “worker’s paradise” Soviet Union is our best example of how well that works. So “just keeping doing what we’re doing” isn’t a good choice.

Is there ANYONE in Washington presently calling for the “conversations” that MUST be held to do this? NO! All are in denial of what obviously must be done, sooner or later. They see personal danger to their present comfortable and secure positions if they “pull the wool off of our eyes” to sort things out, and so they keep us blind like the ostrich with it’s head in the sand.

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive
 

OneOfTheSheep = Glenn Beck

Posted by Obsilutely | Report as abusive
 

Not sure which has done more damage: the demonization of government, or the Randian/Greenspanian faith in unregulated markets.

@COindependent — I take your point, but “small enough to be drowned in a bathtub” doesn’t really leave much room for the rules that you advocate. Rules need (good) government to be effective.

Methinks that OOTS must be among the “unskilled, unmotivated, uneducated, uneducable, unemployable, unwanted mouths who take more and more from our economy and offer nothing back”, as s/he has an awful lot of time on their hands.

Posted by Sanity-Monger | Report as abusive
 

The gun violence has enraged liberals who call for the government to do something. The terrorist killings have enraged conservatives who call for the government to do something.

Posted by brotherkenny4 | Report as abusive
 

The “Tea Party” does not want to shrink Government spending. The “Tea Party” simply wants to cut what it calls “entitlements”, by which it means Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps and Unemployment Insurance. They would leave all Federal “service” entitlements intact, including expenses for Federal Civil Service, Federal Elected Official, and Military retirement and health insurance programs. In addition, they are not interested in reducing spending for foreign wars, other foreign military and para-military deployments, Federal Prison and “Justice” systems, the various “War on fill-in-the-blank” morality programs both domestic and foreign, or any sort of law enforcement program.

In other words, the Tea Party is not really fiscally conservative. It is socially conservative and sees Government mandated retirement and health insurance programs and such as an evil that must be stamped out. They generally disregard the consequences for people who have been forced by law to participate in these programs since the 1930′s and thus have neglected other retirement saving. This amounts to a War on the Elderly, which fits in with their support for other morally driven wars, such as the War on Drugs. The Tea Party sees itself as “morally superior” for some reason.

If anyone looks at the history of the Prohibition Party in the early 20th century in the USA it should be obvious where the Tea Party’s moral certitude comes from. Both the Tea Party and the Prohibition Party have a taste for large prison populations and the promotion of organized crime. In general, they like big Government as long as it focuses on the military and law enforcement and growing prisons. They just do not like social benefit programs.

It is a gross mistake to confuse these people with those who actually do dislike government.

Posted by usagadfly | Report as abusive
 

@Sanity-Monger,

You apparently expect productive Americans to work until they die for the benefit of those who would live off of them. I’m RETIRED! Such “freedom” as I enjoy today was gained the old fashioned way…I EARNED it!

“Demonization of the government” is NOT new. I believe it was one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, who said: Always remember that a government powerful enough to give you everything you want is also powerful enough to take everything you have.” It’s a bit disengenuious to blame such traditional thinking for any RECENT “damage”.

It happens we agree as to the necessity of appropriate rules and enforcement thereof. We have the rules. The enforcement, not so much. You would advocate ever more bureaucrats? I would advocate that we make present bureaucrats more accountable. This would, in turn, force them to actually do the job we pay them to do.

The regulators we have did not stop the illogical expansion of credit to those who cannot repay “approved” loans. Why? Were “our” regulators stupid or lazy? Neither covers them with glory. The regulators we have did not stop Bernie Madoff, et al, when they should have. Why? They didn’t stop the bad formulating practices of products routinely used in accredited hospitals by professionals, and so these trusted institutions and employed medical professionals became the unwitting engines of distribution of countless unknown misery and infections. Why?

Will any union “regulator” be fired? When pigs fly. Who will pay the costs? That’s easy…the American taxpayer or payer of insurance premiums, of course!

I think the Medicare program SHOULD negotiate the lowest possible volume prices for both prescription and non-prescription medications with privately owner manufacturers. I expect a better “deal” for taxpayers than the VA provides. My prescribed cholesterol medication was costing me $40/mo. co-pay, a price I am told is set by Congress, for 15 pills I then had to split to get through each month. I demanded and persevered to get an “outside prescription”.

Costco mail order sells me 90 double-strength pills for $13 (full price) which (against the rules) lasts me six months. Guess what? They don’t participate in Medicare Pt. D programs. I would speculate there’s too much red tape for little, if any, profit. Is that Costco’s fault? I don’t think so.

While I agree with you that “good” government is effective government, it should be obvious to any who look at it seriously that our present government, which is growing like weeds, is neither “good” nor “effective”. Why? There exists no present incentive for “our” union bureaucrats to accept or support such change. Those unaccountable to those who pay their salary tend to become increasingly contemptuous of them. Human nature, I suppose.

Those who complain without suggestions for improvement waste everyone’s time. I am not paid to post my comments. I do it, “for the good of the flock” simply because so few will contemplate the really “big questions” unless, like the stubborn or lazy mule, their attention is demanded by outside influence, such as a 2 x 4 or the verbal equivalent. What’s your excuse?

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive
 

We live in a world making use of increasingly dangerous things that need regulation like electricity, nuclear power, chemicals of all sorts, new powerful drugs, other medical other procedures and devices, cars and roads for cars, airplanes. We have had failures in trade policy, free trade does not work for us for a long time.

Whenever our banking system was deregulated it failed. WE depend on insurance more than before but without regulation, the insurance companies put escape causes in like pre-existing condition cause. That escape cause made medical insurance worthless if you got any of the common long term illnesses like heart trouble or high blood pressure, allergies or diabetes, etc. It was fraud.

Few of us are small farmers like in 1776. Most work for others and need protection and education.

Things like the internet or any wireless communication depend on government assign bands.

Posted by Samrch | Report as abusive
 

The question is not whether you are standing in a corner, I think the question is becoming how many of us are standing in the corners, I do think the election told us two corners are becoming smaller. The voters in the bigger corner are predicted to become much larger not at the expense of the other two corners but at their exclusion.

Posted by Stanley7746 | Report as abusive
 

Wapshott is an excellent fear-monger. Here he sends the message to centrist Republicans that too close an alliance with those fond of Ayn Rand and Ron Paul (as well as Friedman, et al.) will cost them their place in politics. And sadly, with no term limits, some less principled politicians will be swayed. I hope better things for America.

The fear-mongering comes from a place of power–it is the voice of the aging elite (and I speak of a movement, irregardless of individual ages), wary that control is slipping from their greedy hands.

Centrist Republicans in the US Congress are fine with Wapshott and his ilk–they will continue to expand federal government and maintain the backscratching connections between big government and big business (esp. multi-national corporations), all the while selling out the citizen, whom they fail to represent in any substantive manner.

Oh yes, Mr. Wapshott, it would be a shame for Republicans to lose all we gained, and even our jobs; we now cower before the left and cow-tow in the face of your collectivist leftist cronyism.

Posted by citizen033 | Report as abusive
 

This is one of the best op-eds I’ve read in quite some time. It’s deeply disturbing and genuinely threatening that rational thinking has been successfully sidelined to a large degree in this country. Equally disturbing is that this has been accomplished by a minority in this country, a partnership between some wealthy plutocrats whose objective is to control the US government in ways that best protect and grow their wealth, and the pliable rightwing masses who seem to incorporate into their belief systems anything they are fed by Republican leaders and the rightwing media. All one has to do to see this in stark view is to consider what they were insisting on during our 8 years under the Bush Presidency and juxtapose that to what the rightwing masses began insisting on the moment Obama was sworn in to office.

Under Bush, the emphasis was on war and record spending, while cutting taxes, primarily for the affluent, and deregulation. Cheney made the statement, “Deficits don’t matter,” and not a word of complaint could be heard on the right. Imagine if Obama or Biden said that.

Enter Obama. Bush hands over an economy tumbling into the worst recession since the Great Depression to the new President. Most economists, and past Presidents, agreed with what Obama wanted to do, get a stimulus bill passed. Here we were at a crucial juncture in this nation’s economic history, and instead of focusing on working with Obama to get our economy back on its feet, the Republicans decide that their main objective, pretty much their only objective, was to ruin the Obama Presidency by opposing everything he wants to do. Ironically, this might not have been so bad if Obama wanted to continue in the same vein as Bush, but Obama is a very practical guy, which meant the Republicans were opposing mostly practical measures. So when Bush was creating deficits with largely reckless spending, deficits didn’t matter. We could have done fine without spending the money trying to give Afghanistan an infrastructure or if we had continued to deal with Saddam Hussein through a successful containment policy rather than a massive invasion and rebuilding of Iraq. There was the very inefficient Medicare D Drug Plan, a huge new government bureaucracy (Dept of Homeland Security), and cutting taxes while taking us to war. These were not practical or efficient expenditures, but we really did need the stimulus spending for OUR country. The Republicans supported all of Bush’s questionable spending and opposed Obama’s when this country really needed it. How do people who claim to be such patriotic Americans justify spending hundreds of billions of dollars of our money on improving the infrastructures of Iraq and Afghanistan, but be vehemently opposed to spending that kind of money improving our own dilapidated infrastructure and creating much needed jobs for Americans? Ask one of these TeaPartiers this question and you’re sure to get some sort of illogical response.

We can debate if Obamacare was the best way to improve our healthcare system, and I would venture to guess that privately Obama would admit that there were better ways, but what isn’t debatable, as Mr. Wapshott so aptly and succinctly points out, is that our healthcare system is the most expensive, impractical, inefficient system in the world and we can’t afford it. It’s dangerously stupid. And the reason Obama wasn’t able to tackle our healthcare problems more directly is because he knew the Republicans wouldn’t allow it, and throw in a few moderate Democrats, certain to buckle under pressure from healthcare lobbyists.

So here we are, stuck with a government that no longer functions and no one knows what to do to solve the problem. Most of the media is afraid to tell the unvarnished truth, as Nicholas Wapshott has done here with this excellent op-ed, for fear of upsetting the radicals and hurting the bottom line of whatever media company they work for. They, instead, paint a picture of a false balance, that both sides of the political divide are doing the same thing. This is not true and is a grave disservice to our nation. The Republicans have gerrymandered their states so that it’s almost impossible for them to lose the majority in the House. The practical majority in this country is at a loss as to what to do, and the extremist minority have adopted a scorched earth policy like it’s a religion, that includes a willingness to wreak grave harm to our nation’s well-being if they don’t get their way. And I don’t, for one second, discount the possibility that a month, two months, six months from now the extremist right will to led back into believing that war is the priority once again, or anything else their thought masters decide will best serve them personally. Things really are that bad. We seem to be stuck with the accelerator wide open and we’re headed for a cliff, and no one seems to know what to do.

Posted by flashrooster | Report as abusive
 

The GOP, and its Tea Party affiliate, or mutant reactionary wing, has created record dysfunction in Washington. Its true believers, heavily slanted towards older, white voters from the South and Mountain States (the Tea Party House Caucus is loaded with reps from Texas), are trying to find their bearings in the 20th century. Their position on guns is looney, their paranoid rantings about the “nanny state” on the Potomac ridiculous. Ron Paul exemplifies the numbing mindlessness with his 18th century ideology and his obsession with the Fed Reserve.

Posted by Cassiopian | Report as abusive
 

Why would I respect the opinion anyone who writes such uninformed drivel. This is just off the cuff made up crapola disguised as thought. Obviously educated in a vacume of collectivist worship of authority the author mixes incorrect definitions of political party objectives with fear mongering about what life would be like without government overseers. Libertarians do believe government is necessary but that we have way too much of it. The statement that the Tea Party questions whether we should have government at all is patently false. Using words like insurgents is a device he learned to conjure up images of war and militarism. There are many Tea Party advocates in every state.
As to health care costs those countries with lower figures also have very high taxes and fees and practice government rationing. You also must wait in pain for most services (it might cost you your life or diminish your quality of life) whereas in the U. S. you can usually get treatment immediately if you need it.
Writing articles such as these is just using low information voters for other political objectives. Shameful blind apologist lackey. We need to pare government back to its original purpose – to defend our liberty.

Posted by anthonyatlas | Report as abusive
 

The reason there is an anti-government backlash is because we are in this mess because of the government. Businesses have been leaving the U.S. long before the Tea Party because of high taxes and regulations. This idea that the Republicans have been obstructionist is nothing but Democratic propaganda to hide the failure of their programs. Let’s go trough the list. Obama has passed Obamacare, tons of regulations, tax increases, tons of pork for Obama’s favorite programs from green energy to protection of union jobs, a trillion dollar in stimulus programs that has done nothing a $105 highway bill. The list goes on and on. So where is the obstruction? At one point a sane person has to say no more. Many of the changes Obama made in tax policy, healthcare and regulations were deliberately set to take place after the election. The chickens will come home to roosts during his second term. Tax increases for everyone is the first one.

A single payer system means a no-choice system. This is in fact a monopoly, a monopoly run by the government. A single payer system will be run as efficient as the United Postal Service. Putting our healthcare on the hands of, not of government, but of politicians is crazy. Every time a new party comes into power it will change the system based on their own philosophy. The liberals will offer all types of healthcare without worrying about the costs. The conservatives will try to cut services because the liberals ran up the bills. It will be a mess. By the time Obama lives office he will leave behind a $20 trillion deficit even with tax increases. That is a monument to government inefficiency. That is the last group people that I want taking care of my health. The $20 trillion deficit is also a monument to LOVING government too much!

Posted by MikeSmoth | Report as abusive
 

I was in agreement with the article until the point where you said,”Ghosts from the eighteenth century are preying on our school-children, abetted by those who believe that compromise on amending our gun laws is surrendering to the forces of big government. Such unbending absolutism costs human lives.” Please correct me if I am wrong, that guy was legally not allowed to own the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle. He, supposedly, murdered someone and took it.
The next paragraph, you attack home schooling after just illustrating how school children were massacred in a public school. After that perplexing argument, you jump back in history to link Timothy McVeigh and the massacre at Waco to anyone who supports shrinking any part of the Federal government. It is my understanding that the Federal Government’s actions (FBI siege) in Waco motivated Timothy McVeigh’s horrific actions. I like to keep my comments short and concise, so I will just go on to give this article 1 star out of 5.

Posted by M.C.McBride | Report as abusive
 

*Such paranoia about the role of government is a recurring theme in our society’s most appalling massacres,*

As government increases it’s power and handle on things – this will only grow.

Murder has been around a whole hell of a lot longer than guns. Banning guns will just make more people a “criminal” who would otherwise not be considered a ‘criminal’ – just for owning a gun to protect themselves.

But you people will like to yourselves and somehow think a “law” will fix the problem. Every shooting like this – is already WAY outside the bounds of the law.

Many want to go on about how the ‘war on drugs’ is worthless, and then start a ‘war on guns’.

There’s a LOT more drugs on the streets NOW than in the 80′s when this supposed ‘war’ started.

And the same will happen with guns – outlaw them, and people will go to the black market to get them – and government will have even less control in the end.

At least with registration and such now – there’s a trail. Try to track down where some cocaine was made or an IED – you won’t be able to, without seriously forensic work and the hope that the criminal left some kind of a trail.

But mostly – THIS GOVERNMENT would NOT exist – if not for ‘guns’.

But THE MAIN thing is this:

In who’s hands have guns taken the most human life?

1. In the hands of law-abiding citizens who legally purchase and register guns.
2. In the hands of criminals who obtain them illegally.
3. In the hands of Government.

We can debate if it’s 2 or 3 – but there’s no way, by a **HUGE** margin – that it’s number 1 on the above list.

Posted by Overcast451 | Report as abusive
 

I mean – if you base a ‘law’ on statistics of guns and the deaths they cause – who should be disarmed?

The citizens or Government?

Posted by Overcast451 | Report as abusive
 

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