restoring our biblical and constitutional foundations


Legalized Theft

 David Alan Black 

What would you do if a man put a gun to your head and demanded that you give him your money? You’d probably hand it over, but you’d be seething with anger.

This weekend Andy Card, Bush’s chief of staff, dismissed as “a moot point” any lingering questions about whether Bush relied on faulty intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq. Card also responded to critics who claim federal spending is out of control under Bush. The chief of staff renewed a pledge to cut the deficit by half in the next five years. Bush, he said, “is taking an appropriate line on spending. He is a great watchdog for the taxpayers’ money.”

Does Mr. Card think we’re stupid? Our Founding Fathers designed our system of government in the form of a constitutionally limited republic with minimum government control or interference into our personal lives and business affairs. They didn’t have in mind some gigantic federal bureaucracy with all this power and control regulating our lives and our businesses. They had in mind a federal government that would abide by the Tenth Amendment. It was small, it had limited powers, it took care of national events, and it defended our borders. It maintained the army and issued national currency. And all the rest of the rights and responsibilities, they said, belonged to the states and the people.

So where does Bush get the right to force taxpayers to spend their hard-earned money on unconstitutional programs? Bush’s spending program is nothing but legalized theft! For samplers, his 2004 federal budget would increase funds for community health centers from $169 million to $1.6 billion. It would include a $1.35 billion increase in the Federal Pell Grant program (for an all-time high of $12.7 billion) and $2.7 billion for conservation programs under the new farm bill. Under the president’s proposal, museum programs would be funded at $34,430,000, while $41 billion would go to homeland security, including $890 million to develop new vaccines for smallpox, anthrax, and botulinum toxin. The president’s budget even requests $288.2 million for weatherization, including $1.8 million for low-income families in New Hampshire. We could add to this $174 billion for crop insurance; $3.9 billion for the Puerto Rican Nutrition Assistance Block Grant; $250 billion for Medicare; $177 billion for Medicaid; $38 billion for Housing and Urban Development (HUD); and $509 billion for the Social Security Administration. And the list goes on and on.

These examples illustrate just how much mismanagement of our hard-earned money takes place in the departments and agencies of the federal government. Our politicians spend first, and then ask how to pay for it (maybe), and then waste what they don’t even have. The truth is that America is populated by a majority that rejects the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Christianity has allied itself with the governments of the day, while the transcendent gospel has become submerged in the world’s values.

Once again, I call upon the church to take a stand. We will not be able to do this until we are willing to stop diffusing our resources on pseudoproblems—card playing, dancing, smoking, and the like—and begin concentrating on matters of deep and significant morality involving state-sponsored theft and Edenic-style utopianism. What is needed is an evangelical community that is not itself such a supporter of big government that it aids and abets the country’s problems instead of solving them.

If Bush is a watchdog for the taxpayers’ money, then I’m a multi-millionaire with a villa in Monaco. Card’s statements are nothing but a fig leaf for politicians and pundits on the right to keep feeding Big Brother. Folks, if there ever was a need for a massive assault on the humanistic and bigoted Washington culture that wastes taxpayers’ dollars on “freedom” and “compassion,” it’s now!

December 8, 2003

David Alan Black is the editor of

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