Editorial: On Independence - The Caledonian-Record - St. Johnsbury, VT
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The Caledonian-Record | St. Johnsbury, VT


home : opinion : editorial February 5, 2016

Editorial: On Independence

Today is Independence Day, commemorating the passage and signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

A few years after our country's founding, Thomas Jefferson wrote to James Monroe, "my god! how little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy."

And we wonder what Jefferson might say about current events and:

Americans' willingness to live in a ubiquitous surveillance state - constantly watched and monitored by agents of the federal government;

A federal legal code with uncountable millions of criminal and civil laws and regulations;

A President who proudly declares he will act outside of the law to forward his big(ger) government agenda;

An Internal Revenue Service that threatens and harasses citizens for their political views;

A White House war against journalists and a free press;

Local, state and federal government employees totalling over 22 million - or 7 percent of the population?

Later, Jefferson's friend Benjamin Franklin cautioned, "When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic." What might Franklin say about:

47 million Americans on food stamps - 20 percent of American homes;

65 million Americans on Medicaid;

50 million Medicare beneficiaries;

63 million social security recipients;

100 million Americans receiving federal welfare benefits - excluding Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security - more than the number of Americans with full-time jobs?

Thomas Paine famously said, "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." We think it's long past time for Americans to voice their outrage and to re-declare their independence from a government that has grown too big, intrusive and threatening to the people it is intended to serve.

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