But then they write health care "reform" legislation that will throw people in jail for not purchasing insurance. Something that wasn't "illegal" behavior has suddenly become something punishable with prison time.
Stone: Do you think it’s fair to send people to jail who don’t buy health insurance?
Pelosi: … The legislation is very fair in this respect.
Look, folks, there are different paths to collectivist, socialist, repressive, Orwellian states, just because the United States isn't on the exact same one as, say, the former Soviet Union, doesn't mean that what the current group of leftists (including our President) is doing isn't of a piece with what was done elsewhere to limit the freedom of individual Americans.
This is how it's done in Nanny States. 20 years ago, the social democracies of Western Europe (including the UK) didn't look like they do now. Now, per the Telegraph, new environmental regulation could result in carbon rationing cards for subjects of the crown (remember, they're not citizens).
An Environment Agency spokesman said only those with "extravagant lifestyles" would be affected by the carbon allowances.
He said: "A lot of people who cycle will get money back. It will probably only be bankers and those with extravagant lifestyles who would lose out."
However, some have criticised the move as "Orwellian" and say it will have a detrimental impact on business.
Ruth Lea, an economist from Arbuthnot Banking Group, told the Daily Mail: "This is all about control of the individual and you begin to wonder whether this is what the green agenda has always been about. It's Orwellian. This will be an enormous tax on business."
Under the Climate Change Act, Britain is obliged to cut its emissions by 80 per cent on 1990 levels by 2050. This means annual CO2 emissions per person will have to fall from about 9 tonnes to only 2 tonnes.Do you have an "extravagant lifestyle" as defined by the Holy Church of the Environment & Mother Gaia?
Prepare to have your unrighteous behavior curbed.
My friends here in the UK don't even know to be upset about most of these things. Like a frog in a pot of water, with the temperature slowly increasing, they're lives are managed and regulated to the Nth degree and they don't even know it.
President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid 2009 alone have shown their government control-loving, liberty-reducing in just the last 10 months. Card check to take away the secret ballot and sneak unionize wherever they can. Cap & trade to regulate 1/6th of the economy. Health "reform" to control another 1/5th or so. Takeover of domestic automakers. Takeover and regulation of the financial sector. Am I missing anything? I feel like I'm missing something.
The shocking thing about this is that I had no idea how wide reaching their grasp for power was until I started typing it all into this blog post.
My liberal-leftist friends are always convinced of the power of ever-greater reform and policy tweaking and technology and other knowledge advancement to bring efficiency to the inherently inefficient government bureaucracy.
But here's the thing, you cannot efficient-ize the government enough to make up for the concurrent loss of liberty.
UPDATE 14 November 6:17p BST: Ryan Decker's comment from the Facebook thread:
If you have tips, questions, comments or suggestions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You could have ended the sentence thus: "you cannot efficient-ize the government." Even if the liberty/efficiency tradeoff did exist the point would be moot because government is not capable of increasing efficiency. Policymakers simply face the wrong incentives, lack the competence, and cannot process the information required to increase the efficiency of anything.
So there's no trade-off in which government policy could somehow increase efficiency at the cost of liberty. If they're taking your liberty, they're doing it inefficiently.