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Phil Kadner: We the people are the government

People dog rescued from their flooded homes are loaded inLouisianNational Guard truck after Hurricane Isaac made landfall flooded homes with

People and a dog rescued from their flooded homes are loaded into a Louisiana National Guard truck after Hurricane Isaac made landfall and flooded homes with 10 feet of water in Braithwaite, La., in Plaquemines Parish, on Aug. 29. | Gerald Herbert~AP

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Updated: November 15, 2012 6:30AM

Big government is bad. You’ve heard that time and again in political campaigns.

So where are those anti-government folks when contaminated food reaches the market.

Why doesn’t anyone stand up and say, “Too bad there were metal shavings in baby food. That’s the cost of a free market.”

Instead you hear, “Why didn’t the FDA do its job? How did the government let this happen?”

And when a natural disaster strikes, why do you see politicians calling for federal assistance?

They should say don’t send the National Guard, or money to rebuild homes and businesses.

When brakes fail on cars, or motorists complain their power windows are erupting in flames, the government should stay out of the way. Let the car companies handle the problem.

Back in the 1960s, when guys like Ralph Nader demanded seat belts and bumpers on cars that could withstand a mild impact, it was understood that government regulations would cost American consumers more money.

Now we not only mandate seat belts, but shoulder harnesses, front air bags, side air bags and government requirements that little children have their own car seats.

Isn’t that big government at its very worst?

Wouldn’t we all be better off if cars cost less and parents were free to decide whether they could hold their babies in their laps?

Aren’t the anti-government folks willing to stand up to socialism?

When it’s revealed that a cemetery is defrauding customers and tossing human remains around like garbage, why did people in Illinois immediately demand that the government become involved?

A businessman was just trying to make a buck and his customers never complained.

In truth, people want big government. They demand it.

If people are being murdered, the public calls for more police officers on the streets.

If illegal drugs are flooding neighborhood streets, Americans demand that the federal government launch a war on drug dealers.

More prisons. More courtrooms. More prison guards. That’s big government.

Political corruption is a problem. That’s a fact. Who do we rely on to put crooked governors, congressmen and aldermen behind bars?

The U.S. Justice Department. The FBI. The Internal Revenue Service. Federal judges. More wasted tax money.

That’s big government for you.

Interstate highways, commuter rail lines, water purification systems; the demands for government programs are endless.

And I haven’t even touched on the big-ticket items such as Social Security, Medicare and military spending.

What’s our favorite charitable organization? Chances are it relies on government funding.

The problem is that when you have massive government spending there’s going to be massive government waste. There’s going to be big-time corruption. And because resources are always limited, there’s a legitimate argument about how best to spend the money you have.

But that becomes distorted in the political debate because it’s easy for people to bark, “Big government is bad” and “Taxes are too high.”

Over time, people begin to see government as something that doesn’t belong to them.

Controlled by mysterious forces with evil intent, it must be destroyed before it consumes everything in its path.

What is forgotten and ignored is: “We the people are the government.”

Big government is necessary. It does more good than bad.

Even the people who profess to hate it demand government help whenever they and their loved ones are in trouble.

Our government should do a better job. That’s our role as citizens and voters.

People who complain about big government are really saying the job of governing is too hard.

It’s worth the work.

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