The first task of the new Republican-controlled House of Representatives is to defund or repeal the federal healthcare program, which is a massive advance toward the total state. It should be repealed not because we don’t have healthcare problems, but because there are better ways to deal with healthcare in harmony with our free-enterprise system. Our free-enterprise system is the engine that has made us the richest and most advanced nation on earth, and if we kill it, we will become a large North American Venezuela.
But it will not be easy selling freedom and limited government to a great many Americans who have become socialists in their thinking and political leanings. As products of our left-leaning, atheistic public schools, they are simply accepting the notion that government should control everything.
It will not be easy dismantling the nanny state. It took years of liberal Democratic rule to set America on the road to socialist serfdom, beginning with Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, which took advantage of an economic crisis to enact Social Security. Today, millions of American seniors are greatly dependent on this government program to make ends meet.
But the scheme itself is not too different from a private Ponzi scheme. People pay into the Social Security Trust Fund, which immediately hands over the money to the federal government to spend. The government in turn replaces that money with IOUs that have to be redeemed by the taxpayer. In other words, the Social Security Trust Fund’s money is not invested in anything that would make it grow like a huge endowment. Instead it is a box full of government IOUs which must be covered by additional taxes.
The individual citizen has no control over what is done with the savings in his or her Social Security account. That is why proposals have been made to partially privatize the program, so that the account owner would be able to invest that money in ways that would increase its value. Of course, opponents of privatization point out that private investments cannot guarantee a profitable return. But our free-enterprise economy has continued to grow despite our ups and downs. However, as our economy becomes more and more regulated by government, its growth becomes distorted and greatly dependent on political favor for success. That is why we have so many lobbies in Washington.
But aside from Social Security, which is a very complex problem, the one department we should get rid of immediately is the U.S. Department of Education, which has done more to destroy academic progress than any other government agency. The billions that the federal government has poured into the public schools have done nothing but make matters worse, for the money is used by the educators to sustain the very programs that produce failure. This is evident in the field of reading instruction, where the war between phonics and the sight method is still raging, and the government money is being used to keep the war going.
That is why the homeschool movement is so important for this country. It means that parents still have the freedom to take matters into their own hands and, without government interference, educate their children to become literate, informed members of a free society.
Note that homeschoolers did not wait for politicians to grant them permission to teach their kids at home. As Americans, they were willing and able to exercise the freedom which the Constitution guaranteed them to bring up and educate their children in accordance with their own values and religious beliefs. It is this exercise of educational freedom by individual Americans that has stood out as a bulwark against totalitarianism and has served notice on the politicians that the idea of limited government is still alive and well.
Homeschoolers have also proven that good education can be obtained without government help or regulation or certified professional teachers. It is an affront to the socialists among us who believe that government should control the education of everyone.
The next two years will provide the new Tea Party Republicans with opportunities to revive the spirit of freedom, self-responsibility, and the philosophy of limited government. The size of the federal government must be drastically reduced, including the bloated bureaucracies that spend their time and efforts in telling Americans how to lead their lives. These federal regulation factories should be put out of business, and Tea Party Republicans should begin immediately drawing up plans to cut the size of government. They have the power to do it, and now is the time to use it.
Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfeld is the author of nine books on education including NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education, The Whole Language/OBE Fraud, and The Victims of Dick & Jane and Other Essays. Of NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education, former U.S. Senator Steve Symms of Idaho said: “Every so often a book is written that can change the thinking of a nation. This book is one of them.” Mr. Blumenfeld’s columns have appeared in such diverse publications as Reason, The New American, The Chalcedon Report, Insight, Education Digest, Vital Speeches, WorldNetDaily, and others.