I highly recommend reading Senator Tom Coburn’s opinion piece in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. In assessing the governance by President and Congress, the Senator finds both dishonest and irresponsible. Our leaders, sadly, have failed to uphold the basic principles of our Constitution, while also failing to solve our problems. In perhaps the most important message of 2013, the senator offers this: “If you don’t like the rulers you have, you don’t have to keep them.”

The Obama administration, like the administration before it, has sought to make significant changes to the American way of life. Both Presidents Obama and Bush had to respond to severe crises, and both men took advantage of these crises to increase the power and control of the federal government over the lives of the citizens of this country. I do not question their motives. But it seems to me that both men have failed to make the reforms they sought, namely physical security from terrorism and financial security from poverty, because they failed to understand the true nature of reform, at least as it arises in this country. In a free society, reform must come from the people.

I am not the first to say this, of course. Below is an excerpt from a speech by another president, expressing similar ideas (in a much better manner):

Ours is a government of the people. It represents their will. Its officers may sometimes go astray, but that is not a reason for criticizing the principles of our institutions. The real heart of the American Government depends upon the heart of the people. It is from that source that we must look for all genuine reform. It is to that cause that we must ascribe all our results.

It was in the contemplation of these truths that the fathers made their declaration and adopted their Constitution. It was to establish a free government, which must not be permitted to degenerate into the unrestrained authority of a mere majority or the unbridled weight of a mere influential few. They undertook to balance these interests against each other and provide the three separate independent branches, the executive, the legislative, and the judicial departments of the Government, with checks against each other in order that neither one might encroach upon the other. These are our guarantees of liberty. As a result of these methods enterprise has been duly protected from confiscation, the people have been free from oppression, and there has been an ever-broadening and deepening of the humanities of life.

Under a system of popular government there will always be those who will seek for political preferment by clamoring for reform. While there is very little of this which is not sincere, there is a large portion that is not well informed. In my opinion very little of just criticism can attach to the theories and principles of our institutions. There is far more danger of harm than there is hope of good in any radical changes. We do need a better understanding and comprehension of them and a better knowledge of the foundations of government in general Our forefathers came to certain conclusions and decided upon certain courses of action which have been a great blessing to the world. Before we can understand their conclusions we must go back and review the course which they followed. We must think the thoughts which they thought. Their intellectual life centered around the meetinghouse. They were intent upon religious worship. While there were always among them men of deep learning, and later those who had comparatively large possessions, the mind of the people was not so much engrossed in how much they knew, or how much they had, as in how they were going to live. While scantily provided with other literature, there was a wide acquaintance with the Scriptures. Over a period as great as that which measures the existence of our independence they were subject to this discipline not only in their religious life and educational training, but also in their political thought. They were a people who came under the influence of a great spiritual development and acquired a great moral power.

No other theory is adequate to explain or comprehend the Declaration of Independence. It is the product of the spiritual insight of the people. We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren scepter in our grasp. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for the things that are holy. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed

Source: President Calvin Coolidge, Address at the Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, Philadelphia, Pa., July 5, 1926

Senator Tom Coburn has released his annual report of wasteful spending by the federal government, this year totally almost $30,000,000,000.00 (that’s $30 Billion).

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This waste isn’t due to fraud or accounting errors or bad luck. These are tax dollars deliberately spent on unneeded federal programs and services. A summary of Senator Coburn’s report is here, and the full report is here.

“If we are lending money that ostensibly we don’t have to kids who have no hope of making it back in order to train them for jobs that clearly don’t exist, I might suggest that we’ve gone around the bend a little bit” – Mike Rowe

Nick Gillespie offers this great interview of Mike Rowe touching on the social costs of the modern work ethic, public policy and education.

My favorite line: “I don’t want to should all over anybody …”

Victor Hanson Davis summarizes what the 60’s generation has left the Millennials:

“They have received a worse education than did prior generations at a far greater cost in mostly borrowed money. There are fewer job opportunities and higher taxes. Others ran up the huge debt; young people will largely pay for it over the next half-century.” AND “Millennials already pay high payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare coverage for the elderly. Yet most economists predict that both programs will soon prove insolvent and will not be able to extend the present level of benefits to young contributors when they retire.”

In short, Millenials have been raised in a culture and taught in schools to accept the responsibility to pay for the benefits of their elders. They have been taught not to question authority, not to challenge authority, but to serve it. The “Me Generation” has lived up to its name. It really is all about them.