Molly Ball at the Atlantic reveals the sad truth about the now-lifted government “shutdown” (sad at least for advocates of rights-respecting government):

Obamacare will not be repealed. Obamacare will not be defunded. Obamacare will not be delayed. The individual mandate will not be delayed. The medical-device tax will not be repealed. The health-insurance subsidies given to members of Congress and their staffs will not be taken away.

Democrats will get the government funded at levels they (grudgingly) sought in the first place, for longer than they originally sought, and without the looming threat of default.

In other words, government will go on violating people’s rights to the same degree or to a greater degree than it did prior to the partial shutdown.

The only apparent value of the shutdown is that it highlighted just how pervasively government violates people’s rights. We were reminded that the federal government controls vast tracts of recreational land that it has no compunction in using for political purposes. We learned that government regulations are so onerous that, when the government supposedly shuts down, it violates rights more severely than when it is fully operational—as by failing to issue permits that the government requires for operation. And we learned that, contrary to recent claims by some members of Congress, the vast majority still have no interest in scaling back the rights violations inherent in ObamaCare, or reining in government spending, or anything of the sort.

What’s sad is not that the government partially shut down, but that the government shut down the wrong things in the wrong ways, then reopened without doing anything to decrease its rights-violating policies.

To move toward a government that permanently shuts down the right things in the right ways (by ending rights-violating programs) and that keeps open the aspects of government that protect rights, Americans must come to embrace the principle that the only proper purpose of government is to protect rights by banning physical force and fraud from social relationships. Congress works for the American people, and until the American people coherently tell Congress what it should do, Congress will continue doing more of the same.


Image: Wikimedia Commons

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