Haynes is an Assembly member representing Riverside and
He serves on the Appropriations and Budget Committees. [go to
Assembly Member Haynes
website at California Assembly][go to Haynes index]
Is The Issue
Good government is less government...
A question is
raised every election—what is the most important
issue facing this state and this country. Sometimes the politicians
say it is education or crime or health care or taxes. It isn’t.
The question in every election is always—what is the proper
role of government? Discussions about the details of that question
may predominate in an election, but the role of government versus
the role of liberty underlies every election.
Some leftist politicians talk about liberty, but they think the
role of liberty in society is to make sure that everyone can engage
in any sexual practice they wish without consequence, look at pornography,
lie about Republicans in the press under the guise of freedom of
the press, and take drugs anytime they want. On any other question
about the role of government, however, the leftists in our state
and country default to the position of increasing the role of government.
These areas, however, are at the periphery of the debate over
liberty versus government. We have given over so much of our life
to government controls that we no longer recognize intrusions on
liberty when they are occurring.
The question of liberty
comes down to one question—When
should we do something for ourselves, and when should government
Should government take care of us or should we take steps ourselves
to protect our futures? We rely on government for welfare, for
health care, for old age pensions, and for disability payments.
We could use the money government takes from us for those purposes
ourselves, to create programs very similar to those now provided
by the government at a much lower cost. Instead we pay for huge
bureaucracies, welfare fraud, and government abuse for limited,
inadequate, government-financed welfare, health care, and social
security. Could we do a better job protecting ourselves and our
future than a Washington or Sacramento bureaucrat?
Should government prevent us from insuring our own safety? The
right to own guns puts the law-abiding citizen on the same ground
as the criminals and the police. If the police are late to a crime,
law-abiding citizens can protect themselves from a gun-toting criminal.
Should government make those citizens criminals?
Should government raise our children? Parents everywhere know
what is best for their child, but government takes billions from
those moms and dads to pay for a huge education bureaucracy that
is doing a mediocre job of educating those kids. If parents had
control of that money, instead of the bureaucrats in Sacramento
and Washington, do you think that the kids would be better or worse
Should government tell us how best to feed our family? Today,
there are thousands of rules, regulations, taxes, permits, fees,
and bureaucrats telling business owners and workers how to deal
with each other. We are told when we can work, how we should work,
how much we get paid, how we can run our business, ad nauseum.
Do you think two people could sit down like adults and work out
their pay and working conditions to their mutual satisfaction without
the approval of some government official?
There is always a good excuse for government. In a free society,
however, the default position ought to be liberty. There should
be real, physical harm to people before government intrudes into
private decision-making, whether that decision is how to run your
business, how best to feed your family, how best to raise your
children, how to protect yourself, or how to prepare for your own
If we all asked, before we voted, how would this politician promote
liberty, we might start getting politicians who care about protecting
liberty. That would be good for California, and it would definitely
be good for our country. CRO