Seven Principles of Government DetailsEdit

Source: Harry Browne, Libertarian Party presidential candidate in 1996 and 2000.

1. Government is force. You expect government force to be used only against the guilty, but from the Drug War, the foreign wars, asset forfeiture, the Patriot Act, and other government activities, we have seen that it is used just as often against the innocent.

2. Government is politics. Whenever you turn something over to the government that was a financial, social, medical, military, or commercial matter, it's automatically transformed into a political issue - to be used by those with the most political influence, and that will never be you or I.

Do you really trust Tom Murphy, George Bush, Ed Rendell, Trent Lott or Teddy Kennedy to disregard politics just for your program?

3. You don't control government. So no law will be written the way you intended, no law will be administered the way you intended, and no law will be adjudicated the way you intended.

4. Every government program will soon be more expensive and more expansive than anything you had in mind when you proposed it. It will be applied in all sorts of ways you never dreamed of.

5. Power will always be misused. Give good people the power to do good and it will eventually be in the hands of bad people to do bad.

6. Government doesn't work. No government program delivers on the promises the politicians make for it. So why would you expect the next government program to be any different?

7. Government must be subject to absolute limits. Because politicians and other government officials have every incentive to expand government, and with it their power, there must be absolute limits on government.

The U.S. Constitution provides the obvious limits we must reimpose upon federal, state, and local governments. Until the U.S. Constitution is enforced, we have no hope of containing government.

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