While Texas remains one of the few bright spots in an otherwise bleak national economy, our federal government is on an unfettered march toward attempting to solve the problems our nation faces — real or perceived — by evoking the failed socialist policies of the past.

Today, our federal leaders attempt to control the troublesome economy, not by allowing the free market measures that have been the cornerstone of our once great economy, but instead, by over-regulating business and over-controlling our citizens.

Today, the suppression of freedom and self-initiative prevail over the proven free market approach of removing impediments from business—including over-regulation, excessive taxation, and unfunded mandates.

Our history books are rife with examples of societies that have followed the socialistic pathway to despair. These include the autocratic socialist regimes of the past, as well as the less autocratic, European-style socialism of today. Each of these sovereign states restrained their most productive resource–their citizens–instead empowering a socialistic ethos with detrimental and sometimes devastating results.

Now, we find the United States seemingly on the same downward spiral—weakening our economic productivity and skyrocketing our national debt to an obscene $13 trillion dollars. We are in a deep recession, with the highest unemployment since the Great Depression, yet we burden our people and businesses with increased federal taxation, increased federal regulations and increased federal mandates and then question why we have diminished national optimism.

Why do so few listen when history repeats itself? History screams caution, yet our national leaders refuse to listen. As Americans, we must unite and demand that our leaders stop traveling this path of overburdening our workers and destroying business initiative. Instead, we must choose the high road of lower taxation, reduced government mandates, and less regulation. We must once again unleash the great American spirit and determination that was once the envy of our enemies, won two world wars, and made the United States the greatest economic engine and force for good the world has ever seen.

Our people are the true creative force in a vibrant economy, not federal bureaucrats. A successful free market economy depends on a free people not stifled by the intrusiveness and incompetence of an expanding, centralized bureaucracy no longer inhibited by traditional constraints and willing to practice hypocrisy, deceit, and fiscal incompetence.  Instead of stimulating our economy by empowering the American people we undermine our economic potential by limiting the individual with more government control.

In reality, a large central government can be an obstacle to freedom and actually harmful to the common good. Often, bureaucrats ignore the consent of the governed, overreach, and attempt to use the full force of the federal government to manipulate society under the guise of “crisis management” (i.e., recent EPA carbon ruling). President Ronald Reagan said, “The first duty of government is to protect the people, not run their lives.” It is high time we return to that principle of leadership.

The world is a not a perfect place. There will always be risks and inequities. Government, no matter how well intentioned its planners, cannot make it a perfect world. The American dream results from personal initiative, planning, hard work, and saving for a goal. It is not achieved by a new government program or a government handout.

To sacrifice our liberty in favor of hollow government promises of an earthly paradise such as cap and trade pollution reduction, reduced global warming, or universal health care is at best cruel and unfulfilling–creating generations of dependency and debt–or at worst will destroy our American way of life. America, we must choose wisely.

Charles “Doc” Anderson (R-Waco) represents House District 56 in the Texas Legislature. He received the Texans for Fiscal Responsibility “Taxpayer Champion Award” for his work in the 2009 legislative session.


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