On the same day Democrats in the House unveiled their plan for health care reform - a sweeping, 2,000 page bill that includes what Speaker Pelosi is wont to refer to as a "robust public option" - Treasure Secretary Tim Geithner was on the hill arguing for more executive branch power to limit the size of banks or to take them over when it considers such action necessary.
At about the same time, gloating over GDP figures that indicate a 3.5% growth in the economy during the last quarter, President Obama was congratulating himself and his stimulus plan with a twinkle in his eye that seemed to suggest he might just pop for another.
The federal government continues to reach into sectors it has never penetrated so deeply before in order to shore up its grasp on America's economy. But that also means strengthening its hold on our freedoms. We can't keep ceding to the federal government areas of American life that were formerly the province of the private sector without compromising our status as a free people.
Government's message is clear: Washington knows better than the marketplace, the taxpayer, and free individuals how to manage, control, and prosper the most important areas of our lives. To continue to grant this political hubris is to agree with Washington's assertion about its supreme wisdom, to forfeit precious freedoms and responsibilities, and to make ourselves increasingly dependent on government largesse. More taxes, less productivity, and less freedom will surely be the result.
Washington's reach is expanding; its grasp is growing firmer each day; and if we don't resist this tendency now, government's hold on our freedoms will become sure and unlikely to weaken any time soon. Like Saul, usurping Samuel's prerogatives as priest, the federal government is overstepping its bounds before a public reeling from recession and, so it seems, ready for someone else to take responsibility for our lives.