lewrockwell.com / By Andrew P. Napolitano / January 24, 2013
Here is an uncomfortable pop quiz: Who has killed more children, Adam Lanza or Barack Obama? We’ll hold off on the answer for a few paragraphs while we look at the state of governmental excess – including killing – in America. But you can probably guess the correct answer from the manner in which I have posed the question.
We all know that the sheet anchor of our liberties is the Declaration of Independence. The president himself quoted Thomas Jefferson’s most famous line in his inaugural address earlier this week. He recognized that all men and women are created equal and endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights and that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The president would no doubt like to modify the word “created” to read “shall be maintained,” since his presidency seems dedicated to keeping us equal, not in terms of equality of rights and opportunity but of outcome. He has dedicated himself to using the coercive power of the federal government to take from those who have and give to those who don’t. Under the Constitution, charity is a decision for individuals to make, not the government.
This forced egalitarianism was never the purpose of government in America. When the people in the original 13 states gave up some of their personal liberties to create their state governments so they could perform the services that governments in the West do, and when the states themselves gave up some of their liberties to create the federal government of limited powers to address the issues of nationhood, they never authorized government to impose taxes to transfer wealth to those who lack it or need it.