Would You Trust Your Adversary with All This Power?

I normally do not write about non-economic issues, and I am quite late commenting on the SOPA/PIPA internet regulation bills. But there is an economic tangent to it that is worth noting.

Republicans who support these bills, with whatever good intentions they may have, should keep in mind that they have added lots of powers to the federal government over the past 25 years. Many of those powers have allowed the federal government to tax more, spend more and regulate more of our economy. Do our Republican Congressmen and Senators think that those powers have been used responsibly?

Assuming that the answer is no – any other answer would raise serious questions – what makes them think that powers like the Patriot Act, NDAA and SOPA/PIPA will be used responsibly?

President Obama stepped in to the White House and an executive branch of the federal government that was vastly more powerful than perhaps ever in history. He has made use of it to its fullest extent and is stretching it even further. The experience from his – hopefully only four – years in the White House is that nex ttime Republicans on Capitol Hill are considering adding new powers to the federal government, they need to ask: Would I trust my most fervent ideological adversary with this power?

There comes a point where so much power is granted one man that he forgets the lessons of the past. Such as the lesson of the word Dictator. It was the Romans who gave it to us. Back then the word had a positive meaning – it was a person trusted with extraordinary executive powers. One day, that trust turned out to be misplaced. From the ruins of the Roman democracy rose the modern meaning of Dictator.

Let us never forget that.