Last month, Public Policy Polling conducted a survey (LINK) regarding the favorability of Congress compared to other things. With a 9% favorability rating, Congress was decidedly less popular than traffic jams, colonoscopies, and cockroaches; Congress did, however, manage narrow victories over both gonorrhea and ebola virus.
Better luck next time, Ebola.
If everyone is so unimpressed with the corruption and ineptitude that puts our politicians in the headlines every day, then why are so many people convinced that giving our blundering Federal government more power is a good idea? In fact, our government is either so corrupt or so inept that two different bills both called the Read The Bills Act were introduced in the Senate on multiple occasions. Both S.RES.16 and S. 3360 failed to pass.
Despite all this, we still have a large amount of people crying out for government action at every turn. The government needs to fix the economy; the government needs to stop the terrorists; the government needs to provide a better education for our kids; the government needs to do something about gun violence...
Do these people realize that this is the same government that has led us into illegal wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan (look out, Iran) with no possibility of victory, declared a war on drugs that persecutes innocent people for voluntary, non-violent acts, orders SWAT raids on dairy farms for selling raw milk to people who wanted it, intentionally reduced the value of the US Dollar by over 96% (while claiming to stabilize prices), forces teenagers in public schools to wear radio-tracking chips or be suspended, can have any one of us detained indefinitely without due process (NDAA, Brandon Raub), and even assassinates American citizens abroad without ever giving them a trial (Anwar Al-Awlaki)?
Above: Anwar Al-Awlaki
When you expand the scope of government, you encourage lobbying. Businesses and special interest groups realize that the government, by definition, is the legal use of force. Therefore, if the government is given authority over something like healthcare or education, it encourages these interest groups to send lobbyists to D.C. in order to use this legal force to suppress competition. Naturally, only those with the resources and the necessary lack of conscience will "get on top,", because they are willing and able to break (and make) the rules and abuse people. In a chapter entitled "Why The Worst Get On Top," in his book, The Road To Serfdom, Friedrich Hayek writes:
"Just as the democratic statesman who sets out to plan economic life will soon be confronted with the alternative of either assuming dictatorial powers or abandoning his plans, so the totalitarian dictator would soon have to choose between disregard of ordinary morals and failure. It is for this reason that the unscrupulous and uninhibited are likely to be more successful in a society tending toward totalitarianism."
It's nothing short of sadomasochism to want these people's sphere of influence to expand any further into our lives; whether through our economy, our media, our food, our schools, our health, and especially our own homes and bodies.
Update: This Congressman believes that islands can actually tip over and sink.