I promise I’m not going to rant. Some people might like reading rants, but that’s probably a lot like how some people enjoy watching a tone-deaf narcissist audition for American Idol. It just makes me uncomfortable.

But I am going to say this: I am a student of history. That means I don’t know everything and recognize I have much more to learn. That being said, I’ve read and studied lots.

And with all of that, I have never seen a system that actually works when it takes from the rich to give to the poor. Systems wherein the rich give, of themselves and of their own accord, to the poor, work.

Here’s what Thomas Jefferson said about this:

“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”

It seems patently unAmerican, and really quite immoral, to have a government decide that it has the power and will to take extra money from wealthy folks– be they wealthy by their own industry or due to inheritance– to ostensibly give it to the poor. Of course, good sense tells us that government is incapable of doing something like that efficiently or without waste, so the whole thing seems flawed and naive.

What it comes down to, in my mind, is a top-down versus a bottom-up government.

Top-down is where government imposes its will on people. Systems wherein that is the primary approach have failed, every time, throughout history. Truth is: all government is flawed because humans are flawed. And all governments tend to slowly, or quickly, move toward a top-down model. We don’t need to get into why right now.

Bottom-up government is where the people impose government upon themselves. They are individually self-governed by a compact they have made with themselves and society. And in some cases, Deity. They establish a government to enforce laws and protect general welfare. This system works, when it works. And there has been all of one case where it really worked long-term. That would be the city of Zion during Enoch’s time.

They lived according to covenants, not civil laws.

So in my mind, it’s flawed thinking to take money from the wealthy to ostensibly give it to the poor or fund government. It just doesn’t make sense if you think past the knee-jerk reaction of “it’s not fair that they have so much and I have so little,” or “they can afford it and the government needs the money,” or “they should be happy to give back.” This is not a sustainable approach, it does not respect the right to property, and makes zero economic sense.

It is a reaction. A quick fix. A band-aid. A placating of constituency.

It’s not a plan or a real solution.

I am not Republican or Democrat. I’m an American who tends more toward Libertarian and Constitutionalist than anything else– although I still disagree with some stances of those parties too. And I’m not taking sides here, but on the issue of history and in the interest of reminding everyone we cannot blindly trust what ANY of the people in government say, our dear President Obama was dead wrong. Okay, his speechwriters were wrong. He said that some things Paul Ryan suggested would lead us “to a fundamentally different America than the one we’ve known throughout most of our history.”

Not so, if you take what he’s saying to mean that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid would be very adversely affected by Ryan’s proposal.

Truth is, I’d really like to ask him exactly what he meant by that statement.

Anyway, America is, if you mark its birth from the day independence was declared, nearly 235 years old. Social Security and programs of its type such as Medicare and Medicaid started not that long ago. FDR signed Social Security into law in August of 1935. Medicare and Medicaid started in 1965.

Thus, Social Security is 76 years old and Medicare and Medicaid are only 46 years old. These programs have not been around long enough to become a fundamental part of our country that we’ve known through most of our history. They would have to be at least 118 years old for that to be true.

Also. Republicans for the most part are still punting, when they should be running with the ball. Nearly all of those ‘cuts’ they supposedly achieved in the latest round of finagling are phantom cuts that won’t materialize for about a decade.

Dishonesty abounds in our government. Constituencies are being condescended to.

Who’s surprised?

No. We need a fundamental change in the way we do business. Perhaps it’s a fundamental shift back toward the intent of the Constitution. Perhaps it’s a fundamental shift in a different direction.

But so far, not enough people are really going after actually changing things enough to avoid a financial armageddon in this country.

So I suggest that each of us keep doing our best to love our neighbor, do unto others, and be the people we know we should be. We will always be safe, in the most important way, when we decide that we and our houses will serve the Lord.