Christians and conservatives are rightly concerned about government’s assault on our God-given rights. On this week’s Liberty Cafe, though, we discuss why instead of playing whack-a-mole with each new assault from the left, we might be better off focusing on making Big Government small so it doesn’t have the resources to take over our lives.
Transcribed by Otter.ai:
As we are coming up on the New Year, legislatures all across the country are preparing to go into the session. That’s true here in Texas where I live. It’s true up in Washington, DC, where the federal government, federal legislature Congress meets. And so a lot of people are concerned about a lot of different things that need to be done. Conservatives, Christians, in particular, have a lot of things that need to be dealt with all this crazy stuff we’re seeing there more and more from the left trying to impose this anti God, anti Christian, anti Jesus worldview on the rest of us and dishonor God in the process and do some really bad things. And I’m not saying that things like transgender effects on kids aren’t important things that shouldn’t be dealt with that they are bad and they should be dealt with. But I think sometimes we misplace our priorities and the fact that and because we forget that we really can’t stop. And we’ll never be successful in stopping big government from taking away our Annette. God given unalienable rights. And if we just focus on the rights themselves and protecting them, we’re going to lose that battle. Instead, I’d suggest that the only successful path forward in dealing with all this, the path to liberty is for us to focus our efforts and attorney big government, into little government. We’re going to talk about this more in detail. On this week’s episode, Episode 105 of the Liberty cafe. Hi, my name is Bill Peacock, and I’m very glad to have you here with me, as I always am, I’m blessed to have you here as those who listened to the Liberty Cafe, and those who participate in the battle for freedom here in Texas, and across the United States. Maybe some of y’all are out there even listening to me, across the world Fighting for liberty, I really appreciate it. And of course, I’m also appreciating blessed by the folks over Texas scorecard, the sponsor of the Liberty Cafe are also doing great work in the battle for liberty. So go on over to Texas scorecard.com, and see what you can do see what they’re doing and see what you can do to join them in the battle for liberty. All right, so let’s kind of dive into this issue just a little bit more. We’ve got a lot of things going on here in Texas, and I’m sure all these other all you other folks and other states have them as well, not to mention what’s going on up in Washington, DC, just here in Texas, the Texas Republican Party, but to get gather a list of eight priorities, that kind of layout what they want to achieve in the legislative session coming up. And there’s a lot of important issues there. Right, the integrity of elections, getting stopping Republicans in the House from appointing Democrats as chairs of important committees or any committees for that matter, dealing further with abortion protecting the lives of the unborn, all this sexualizing of Texas kids, and mutilating Texas kid through the trans Gay Agenda. Also, there’s the just the issue of the border and the continued invasion of foreign nurse aliens into Texas and what’s going on with that there’s parental rights in keeping public schools in Texas from from teaching our children this anti God agenda, particularly when it comes to gays and homosexuals and, and but just anything related to a worldview that doesn’t teach what God wants us to be teaching our children who’s gonna ownership as another one. So those are the big issues that they put together again, those are really important issues. But But I think if we’re going to make headway on on these things, we’ve got to step back a little bit because going after these things is a little bit about like playing Whack a Mole. Integrity of elections. We hit that down, then all of a sudden, trans gender, mineralization of kids pops up, right? I mean, it just keeps going back and forth, and back and forth. We hit that one another one pops up. So I think we need to step back and figure it out. Okay, so we’ve got this problem with big government, right? What are we going to do to make big government small, so it really doesn’t matter what the government does Here’s the context I’d put that in. So if we go back all the way to 1700 or so, and look at the federal spending, and really, you don’t have federal spending back in, in 1700, but you got that you had a lot of state spending, and then you had English spending, and then you had the American government coming in. And you look at federal spending as a percent of the US GDP. Since about the 18th century, moving up to today, you know, historically, back in the early the 1700s, in the early 1800s, the spending was about 2%. That meant that the spending of the federal government was 2% of the overall size of the economy that jumped up during the Civil War to 4%. fell back to 3%. And then, we moved into the 19th 1900s. And we had World War One, which took it up to over 8%, and dropped back down under good Calvin Coolidge down to about 5%. And then FDR got a hold of it and went up to 10%. And then we got World War Two, and it jumped up to 28%. It and it really hasn’t gone down much since that time. If you look at by decade, by decade, the lowest it got during that whole time after World War Two is about 20%. So that’s 10 times government 10 times the size of government, that it wasn’t in colonial days. And, you know, if we go back to only to the early 1900s, it’s still about seven times as big as it was. Back in those days, and now we’ve got a whole new ballgame at work here. For 22,020 and 21, federal government spending is 37% of the economy. Now, we don’t have 2022 numbers yet. And so we’ll we’ll see what those look like it might have gone down a little bit. But you know, given what they’ve been doing this year, I’m not so sure that’s going to be the case. And so all of a sudden, we have this massive takeover of the American economy. But you know, it’s not just the economy. It’s our lives as we see it more and more, because a government that has enough money to make up over a third of the economy also has enough money to come after us and our rights. And that’s the point I’m trying to make here that there’s no way that we can stop a government that is this massive, and this big, from going after us and our rights that God has given us life, liberty, property, the pursuit of happiness, however, we want to describe those things. And it’s just getting worse and worse. Same thing is going on here in Texas, right. And I won’t go through all the numbers. But for 2020, the share of Texas State and local spending, as a percent of gross state product is almost 18%. That’s the highest it’s ever been the highest had gotten before was 17%. As recently as 2014, it was down to about 15%. But particularly since Dan, Patrick, and Greg Abbott have taken over in their leadership roles. We’ve gone from 15%, all the way up now to over 18% massive increases in government involvement here in Texas. And, you know, while we may think and believe, and probably rightly so that what Texas government is doing is not nearly as bad as what the federal government is doing. They’re still doing a lot of bad things here in Texas. And we’ve seen all kinds of examples of that public schools are just one example of that. And of course, the problem is not going to get any better. Matter of fact, it’s getting worse very quickly. The Texas legislature is dealing with or not dealing with but has right standing before them a $27 billion budget surplus this biennium. And our comptroller Clint Hager has said it’s going to be bigger than that by the time the legislature gets into town. So let’s just go with $30 billion. And that’s just what they have extra leftover from this biennium, two year budget cycle. If you look forward into the next two year budget cycle, which is the the budget they’re going to be adopting in January and going forward, they’re going to have another my guess is probably another 15 billion extra dollars, at least. So we’re looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of $45 billion more than they spent or spinning right Now, on Texas government, that’s over a two year period. But that’s still a lot of money. And while we would all love to see most of that money returned to us in the form of tax cuts, like How about getting rid of property taxes, or at least the school property taxes or reducing the sales tax? Texas House Speaker David feelin just this week, indicated that he has no interest in something like that, that with inflation going on, they’re just no telling how much it’s going to take to run Texas government. And we need to make sure we save that money so that we can run Texas government. Of course, what he’s saying is we need to have that money to run Texas government. So we can, Texas government can run your lives and push this left wing LBGT Q agenda on you, Texas taxpayers and citizens so that it just is continuing to get worse and worse and worse than that. Another example of this is the Texas electricity grid. Right, everybody remembers how things fell apart in Texas. And we had historic blackouts and 2021. The main cause of those Well, yeah, the main cause of those being government intervention in the Texas electric grid, right? Yes, it got really cold. But if the government hadn’t spent the last 20 years or so 15 years or so before that intervening in the market, because it’s kind of funny what they did. But 2005 Or so they started getting scared of competition. And they go, no, no prices are getting too high. We need to start regulating the market. So to keep the prices low, and they did, they went after companies and fined a millions of dollars or attempted to anyway, and trying to push the price low. Well, they were successful in some ways. And that then came along renewable energy subsidies, pushing the price of electricity any lower, just to make clear, it didn’t make electricity, electricity cheaper. It simply made the market price go lower. But we’re still paying higher prices for it through through income taxes and property taxes, all the subsidies that were going into renewable energy. So because of subsidies and intervention in the market by regulators, electricity prices started going down four, and the profits started going down for people who were investing in reliable generation of natural gas, particularly those who wanted to build plants that were powered by natural gas. So guess what, people stopped building those plants. And they started building plants made by or powered by wind in the sun. And so what we’ve had over the years, is that the massive amount of electricity has gone. Money has gone into chasing these subsidies, it’s been about $26 billion worth of subsidies over the period of time, that has resulted in investments about $66 billion of investments chasing those renewable subsidies. And then when we put into a take into account the the IRA, what was that the inflation Reduction Act that the Biden administration and Congress recently passed, and this new plan that the Texas Public Utility Commission has put in place to restructure the market because it wasn’t working. Of course, it wasn’t working, because they were interfering with it, but now they’re going to interfere with it more. If you put those two together, we’re going to go from renewables being about 85% of the share of new generation over the last four years or so, to renewables been 98% of all new generation over the next five years. So they haven’t fixed a thing. Matter of fact, they’re making it worse and they’re ignoring it. So why is all this happening? Well, of course, it’s all happening. Because government is too big, right? They get into our lives, they take our money, and then they have all this money, and all these people who can tell us what to do, and push this trans, gay, non Christian, non Liberty oriented, crony corporatist agenda on us all. And if we just focus on those things, again, we have to fight skirmishes and battles on those things. We can’t just abandon those. But if that’s all we’re focusing on, we’re going to lose the battle. And I think that’s part of the problem today because I look around And I see very few people willing to stand up and take on growth and government spending. That’s one reason that the Texas Legislature has failed miserably over the last 25 years in their efforts to bring property tax relief to Texas five times. Since then Governor George W. Bush started the effort to bring property tax relief, they have spent billions and billions of dollars. That’s how they do it, they spend billions of dollars to give us property tax relief. Yet what happens is does billions of dollars get spent mainly on schools, but we see very little or zero, in most cases, property tax relief out of that, they spend more money, our property taxes go up, other taxes go up, and we lose, nobody will stand up and say, We’re spending too much money. You know, we focus on taxes and tax relief, and that’s good. But the only reason our taxes keep going up, is because spending keeps going up. And so if we’re going to fight this, and we should fight it, then we need to shift our focus a little bit, and put more emphasis on making big government into small government. And I’ve got a few recommendations here about how we can do that. First, we need to adopt what I call the Liberty budget, that’s a zero growth, budget, zero growth and state spending. So when we like the legislature comes into session in January, they look at how much they spent last session, that’s all they can spend this session under the Liberty budget, they can’t spend any more, I would suggest if they did that, we would have a budget surplus, they would have a budget surplus of about 40 to $45 billion. And they could immediately use that money to start buying down property taxes, school property taxes, and or sales taxes. It would be easy to do you just now I think ultimately, we need to reverse the size of government make it smaller. So even a zero growth budget only takes us so far. But it’s a good place to start. Now trying to make that happen. It’s simple. But it’s not easy. But it’s a place we have to start, we have to stop state government from growing because if you ask yourself, do you think government’s already too big? And you say no, then you shouldn’t be worried about doing things like oh, we got to allow for population growth plus inflation, because they’re already doing too much. So we stopped them. And then population growth plus inflation, just makes them focus on doing what they’re already doing more efficiently or stop doing some things they’re doing because they shouldn’t be doing them in the first place. So that’s number one. Number two, I think we need to make all local governments get permission to increase property taxes at all. Right now, there’s an something in place called the new revenue tax rate, where it doesn’t create any new revenue from existing developed properties. If people go out and somebody takes a piece of empty land and builds a new building on it, that’s not the revenue from that the property tax revenues not included in that calculation. So. So if we change the situation where you had to go to voters, if they wanted to exceed this no new tax rate, you would still allow local government spending to increase by a percent or two, which I don’t think is a good idea at one level, but it’s a good place to start. And then if the local government wants to spend more money, they can go to the taxpayers, the local taxpayers and ask them, and if the taxpayers think that’s a good thing, well, they can give them permission to do that at the polls. I think ultimately, you have to work on that even. But it’s a good place to start slow the growth of local government spending, we also need to get control over education spending, the first place to do that is just freeze school property taxes, we can’t let them go up anymore. And then we need to use a lot of this budget surplus just to buy down school MnO property taxes until they’re gone. We if we did that, with zero growth, we could do that in about seven years, seven, eight years or so school taxes would go away really quickly if we did that. And as we stopped school property taxes, and the state gets better control over the funding of schools, then we could also and this also would apply to higher education. We could stop this runaway growth of spending for higher education and public schools. The next thing I think we need to do is get Texas government out of that energy business because all that money, all those interventions in the market that the Texas government is is doing right now. It’s going to cost Texans about $6 billion a year. That’s a pretty big tax, if they tried to pass that through the legislature, nobody would stand for it. But since they’re doing it in the backroom, so the Texas Public Utility Commission, nobody’s really paying attention to that. So we just need to get the government out of energy markets like they should be out of most markets. And let let the markets and the people involved in the markets decide that there’s a big $6 billion tax cut, which would end a lot of the corny corporate cronyism that’s going on here in America, we also need to just get out of Medicaid. As long as the federal government is controlling a huge portion of state spending, I think it’s about 25% of all the state funds that we spend goes into Medicaid, I could be wrong, but it’s in that ballpark. As long as the federal government’s controlling that we just can’t do anything to really cut the size and scope of Texas government. So we need to get out of Medicaid. There’s a lot of smart people who can figure out how to do what the state is doing with Medicaid more efficiently than what they’re making us do in Washington, DC. And as we go through that process, we would probably see that there’s a lot of things that we shouldn’t be doing at all, and that charity, and people could take care of these things for themselves. And then finally, we should spend a lot of time defunding the Texas regulatory state, with people telling us how to run our business and our lives, those types of things. Alright, so that’s what I think we need to do and focus on those things, if to make big government small. And so because small government won’t be doing the things that we’re most worried about, ruining our lives, running our lives, ruining our children, teaching them things that they shouldn’t know and learn. And so that’s the path forward, I would suggest for making big government small. Well, thank you for joining me on today’s Liberty cafe, Episode 105. And thanks again to Texas scorecard for being the sponsor of the Liberty cafe. Thank you for listening to the Liberty cafe with Bill peacock. This show is produced by Texas scorecard. You can learn more about this show and find other shows at Texas scorecard.com. Be sure you subscribe and rate the show on whatever platform you listen on. See you next time.