Thursday, January 24, 2008

What's Wrong With Government

(Sierra Vista, AZ)- Ok, this is the excerpted Reader's Digest version...

One of the things I find most wanting today is the absence of consistent thought, and the development of solid ideas into public policy. One of my favorite quotes is of John Adams:

"A government of laws, not of men."

This means, not a government of personalities, of popularity, or any other whimsical nonsense. Personality and popularity is fleeting and ever-changing. Solid law based on solid principles gives the opportunity for clear understanding and thus clear footing.

Reading recent posts by Hoosier Pundit and Doug Masson on the crafting of property tax legislation brought this all to mind, as it focused on the importance of three figures: Governor Mitch Daniels, Republican State Senator Luke Kenley, and Democratic House Leader Pat Bauer.

It's ironic. They're drafting law. But it is illustrated here that we are a government of men first, with laws resulting secondly.

I could stand it if there was great clarity where either of these three men stood on the issue. Kenley in particular is a "stick your finger in the air and see which way the wind blows" kind of man. For certain, none of these is a statesman. Oh, for a statesman or two!

I'd much rather see solid competing IDEAS, rather than these three egos, and the kind of horsetrading they will marshall. Let's talk about abolishing the property tax. Let's have a discourse about the things the property taxes fund. 

The dialogue should be much more than, "what can we do to look it make like we've created tax relief all while maintaining the funding status quo." That's what it has all come down to, and it is because we are a nation of men, not of laws.

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