Who Gave Congress the Right?

The ignorance of our federal representatives is astounding. This fact becomes obvious whenever they accidentally drop out of double talk mode and attempt to make a real point or take a real position. Most of them should stick to blabbering away incessantly about nothing. All of this would be laughable except for the fact that they actually think they know what they’re doing. They think they’re qualified to make decisions about how our property and lives should be expended.

The letter below was published in the Gwinnett Daily Post on December 28, 2002.


The recent flap with U.S. Senator Patty Murray is the latest example of incompetent government leadership. Speaking to high school students, Senator Murray suggested that Bin Laden was popular because of his charity and that the U.S should likewise consider more charity to improve our image.

The ensuing maelstrom focused on the wrong issues. Political debate focused on what Bin Laden did or did not do and whether or not the level of U.S. charity is adequate. It did not focus on government’s improper use of taxpayer property to purchase goodwill and world wide popularity.

Senator Murray clearly believes that Congress has the right to democratically take our property and use it any way it chooses. She believes being popular is important and the way to achieve national popularity is to give away other people’s money. Would you allow your 13 year old student to hand out $100 dollar bills in school to purchase popularity? The real focus of the debate should have been whose money is being handed out and why does Senator Murray incorrectly believe Congress has the right to give it away.

The theft described above has become so common that we fail to see or challenge it. According to Frederic Bastait in 1849, legal theft is easily identified because it does the same thing individual theft does. It takes property from one person and gives it to another person. Every individual has the same God given right to defensively use force to protect their life and property.

Law (or government) originated when several individuals jointly agreed to combine their natural right to protect and defend their life, property, and freedom. Using offensive force to take property from others is theft whether an individual does it or a group does it. Just law and just government must always be defensive.

Here’s what would happen if you and I could somehow limit federal and state governments to only those laws that defend individuals and their property equally.

  • Persuasion would replace coercion.
  • Being a member of Congress would become a part time job.
  • State legislatures would have more authority than Congress.
  • Property rights and individual rights would become supreme.
  • Income taxes would go away.
  • Excellence, hard work, and thrift would once again become virtues.
  • Sloth, ignorance, and expedience would once again become vices.
  • Charity would find its proper place at home and in church.