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Escaping Leviathan

Published July 11, 2012 at Rock River Times

In this column, I will tackle two subjects: state and federal grants, and Prof. John Kindt’s guest column on Illinois gambling taxation in last week’s issue of the Rock River Times. Both of these subjects nicely illustrate the difference between advocates for bigger government and advocates for smaller government when it comes to the relationship between government and wealth.

Advocates for bigger government believe that the money you earn, whether it be through wages or income from a business, does not belong to you. In other words, government, be it state, local, or federal, should take what it needs from you first, and then you get to keep whatever is left. They believe that politicians and other government officials know what is best for you and will spend accordingly.

Advocates for smaller government, on the other hand, believe that every dollar you earn is yours first and foremost. When you give some of it to the government, you are expecting that it be spent frugally and wisely on a limited number of basic services. They believe that, although you are not perfect, ultimately decisions about how to spend your money should be left to you.