The Primary Function of Gov't

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Wiseacre, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. Wiseacre
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    Wiseacre Retired USAF Chief Supporting Member

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    " The primary function of the government, any government, is to take care of it's people. That's the buy in. If a government isn't doing that..then it is a government that is a failure. "

    Another poster wrote that in another thread. Just wondering how many of you believe that. I can see adding an addendum that says " for those cannot physically or mentally care for themselves ". However, is even that really the primary function of gov't? Or a secondary one?

    For the first 150 years or so of our country, that function was totally out of the gov'ts pervue. Family, friends, neighbors, churches, and other organizations such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army took care of those in need. Why did that change, other than perhaps for political reasons to buy votes?

    No worries, the gov't will provide. No responsibilities either, somebody else will pay for it. Do we really want this kind of society? Surely we've seen the problems in Europe, where social democracies are being crushed by the financial burden of that primary function. They've raised individual taxes higher than ours, yet still do not have enough revenue to pay for all of the social programs. And now most are cutting back or have already done so.

    Question: many on the left demand fairness. Well what's fair about passing a 15 trillion dollar debt and growing, to future generations? That's what the primary function of taking care of our people has lead us to. I find no morality or honor or integrity about that. This isn't about rich people living like pigs; this is about everybody living like pigs, many on the gov'ts (and our's) dime. That's what happens when you let the gov't take care of you.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  2. PLYMCO_PILGRIM
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    PLYMCO_PILGRIM Gold Member

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    That is not a primary function of the federal government at all. However, it is a function of local governments if a town/city decides they want to do that through their govt and it could be a function of individual state govts should they choose to implemnt such laws as long as they don't violate their state's constitutions.

    I believe it changed because the federal govt realized it was basically powerless. This would give them power and influence over individuals from a centralized federal level and thus increase the domestic power and authority of the federal govt over the states and citizens.

    Looking to europe and its financial problems I would say no I don't really want that type of society. However, looking at the federal govt here in the USA I would say we are already there....hence us having similar economic issues to what europe started facing 15 years ago.

    There is nothing fair about one generation borrowing money to spend on themselves while footing future generations with the bill. As Jefferson said "I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. If we run into such debts, we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and in our comforts, in our labor and in our amusements. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labor of the people, under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy."
     
  3. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    "The primary function of the government, any government, is to take care of it's people."

    There is evidence to support a very differenct view....

    ...take this government, for example.

    At a time of such extensive unemployment, one might believe that opting for paths that would provide jobs would be the logical progression from your claim of the primary function of government....

    But the Obama administration, rather than lookin' out for the folks, is lookin' out for ....
    ...see if you believe this.....the 'American burying beetle.'


    1. "Plans for a 1,700-mile-long tar-sands oil pipeline across the Midwest face a variety of political and logistical hurdles. To that, add one more: a large black beetle with red spots whose habitat, it seems, lies right where the Keystone XL pipeline would go.

    2. Canadian pipeline company TransCanada has already moved into beetle relocation mode. Over the summer, a University of Nebraska researcher led a massive effort to find, trap and relocate more than 2,000 of the beetles from the pipeline's proposed route through Nebraska.

    3. The U.S. State Department, named in the suit along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, held hearings in Nebraska and elsewhere along the pipeline route last week on TransCanada Corp.'s application for an international permit to build the pipeline, which would haul bitumen extracted from Alberta tar sands to refineries in Oklahoma and the Texas Gulf Coast.

    4. The decision is not expected until the end of the year, and conservation groups in their lawsuit said it is premature to start moving beetles and mowing prairie grass before the company has permission to build the hotly contested pipeline."
    American burying beetle becomes player in Keystone pipeline drama - latimes.com


    But....what the heck it would only "...create an estimated 20,000 union jobs and untold thousands of spinoff jobs. It would provide the United States with a reliable source of oil from a friendly country."
    Commentary: Keystone XL pipeline splits Obama's base - KansasCity.com
     
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  4. jillian
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    jillian Princess Supporting Member

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    The function of government is something that has been debated for centuries by Hobbs, Locke, Mill, and a myriad of other political philosophers. Government has many functions. Our own says that it is the protection and defense of the country. But the Constitution also provides that congress may act for the general welfare of its people and may regulate commerce among the several states. What constitutes proper general welfare and commerce clause activity has been addressed by the high court since its inception and is whatever is defined by the court until it changes its definition.

    We have always run on debt since the american revolution. you can like that... or not. and there is a way to balance the budget as it was balanced when clinton was president... reinstate the bush tax cuts and get rid of waste.. military or otherwise. ending the wars of choice will help, too.

    i hope that helps.
     
  5. Jarhead
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    Jarhead Gold Member

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    when you say reinstate the Bush tax cuts...do you mean across the board...or just for those who earn 250K a year and more?
     
  6. Navy1960
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    Navy1960 Senior Member

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    "The way to have good and safe government, is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the functions he is competent to. Let the national government be entrusted with the defense of the nation, and its foreign and federal relations; the State governments with the civil rights, law, police, and administration of what concerns the State generally; the counties with the local concerns of the counties, and each ward direct the interests within itself. It is by dividing and subdividing these republics from the great national one down through all its subordinations, until it ends in the administration of every man's farm by himself; by placing under every one what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best. What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating all cares and powers into one body." Thomas Jefferson Works 6:543; P.P.N.S., p. 125

    Seems to sum up the original intent.
     
  7. Charles_Main
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    Charles_Main AR15 Owner

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    Treaties, Contracts, and National Defense.
     
  8. DiamondDave
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    DiamondDave Army Vet

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    Ensure (Enact law, enforce law and adjudicate) the freedoms for citizens to live their lives, with good or bad results dependent on their own actions, choices, etc... and ensure the equal treatment under law

    It's not to be your mommy, your savior, your crying towel, or your enabler
     
  9. Wiseacre
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    Wiseacre Retired USAF Chief Supporting Member

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    Minor debt is one thing, when it approaches 100% of GDP, that's another. To me that's the height of irresponsibility, increasing debt that your children and grandchildren will have to service.

    But the real question is this business of gov'ts primary function. A "social safety net" is the usual phrase, something we didn't guarantee in the past but have overburdened ourselves with these days. Aside from the expense, it disincentivizes many people to work, take risks, build something. The Left is always going on about 'fairness', but I wonder if we're really being fair in treating people in a fashion that takes away their motivation and independence.
     
  10. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Platinum Member

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    Our rulers will best promote the improvement of the nation by strictly confining themselves to their own legitimate duties, by leaving capital to find its most lucrative course, commodities their fair price, industry and intelligence their natural reward, idleness and folly their natural punishment, by maintaining peace, by defending property, by diminishing the price of law, and by observing strict economy in every department of the state. Let the Government do this: the People will assuredly do the rest.

    -Thomas Babington Macaulay
     

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