Purposes Of Government
High school journalists share what the promises of the preamble to the Constitution mean to them. This video can be used as an inspirational element in a courtroom, classroom, or community program. It also can serve as an effective discussion starter to stimulate conversation about the Constitution. The Apostle Paul captured its purpose best when he wrote that the God-given aim of government is to punish wrongdoers.
As intent as the Framers were on protecting individual liberties, they also appreciated the need for effective and competent government. Madison knew the dangers that can spring from the unbridled pursuit of narrow interests and, thus, recognized that government must be capable, when necessary, of restraining such harmful pursuits. The trick is to come up with an arrangement that combines the requisites of effective government with proper and necessary safeguards for the liberties of the people. In Western democracies, we disagree about whether the state should provide things like healthcare and higher education, and whether the state should take an active role in shielding individuals from undesirable behavior ranging from not wearing seatbelts to drug use. Even at its barest—the libertarian’s “night-watchman state”—government pits the safety of the community against individuals’ liberty. Individuals must give up something, like taxes, to gain the state’s protection.
The simplest and perhaps least unjust way to end these programs is to gradually, over a period of fifteen or twenty years, reduce the amount of money doled out until it reaches zero. Such a phase-out would enable everyone who has been receiving or had planned to receive such “entitlements” to begin making other arrangements, tightening their belts, looking for ways to earn more money, or seeking voluntary charity. Simultaneously, the government could sell assets such as “public” lands and roads to cover some of the costs of these programs while they are being phased out. Men and women marrying, having children, and raising them to be God-fearing, law abiding citizens is the single most important task for our society. Families meet needs at every level better than any other institution.
Only employers pay a FUTA tax, and most pay both a federal and a state unemployment tax. Generally, employers can take a credit against FUTA tax amounts they have paid to state unemployment funds. For 2020, the FUTA tax rate is 6% on the first $7,000 paid to each employee as wages during the year. Medicare tax revenues are earmarked to the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund portion of Medicare . Employees and employers each pay a 1.45% tax on payrolls with no cap.
Moving up a tier in complexity, as societies grew and evolved it became necessary to enforce common standards of behavior. A strongman can enforce his will over a village by direct intervention; a king needs laws because he can’t be everywhere at once to tell people how to do things. Modern democracies have the same issue and the same obligation to make law. Resource centralization is a government function precisely because governments are capable of taxation, concerned with national problems, and can provide a concerted response to large problems.
Good economics and America’s history, however, do not support the proposition. In fact, the best economic research of the past fifteen years in particular refutes it. And perhaps most important, America’s achievements, and even its guarantees of personal freedom, are not the consequences of small government. One of the main purposes of the government is to provide good infrastructure to all its countrymen in the form of roads, bridges, drinking water, electricity, and communication networks. To protect and safeguard the interests of the nation, the government enters into bilateral trade agreements, negotiations, treaties, and so on, with the governments of other nations. For instance, no two flags of any two nations are alike nor are the national anthems and pledges.