The conservative contradiction

In reflecting on Rand Paul and his ever-changing principles, the Lexington Herald-Ledger makes an interesting point about all the small-government types.  Perhaps it says less about the ranters who are leveraging widespread dissatisfaction into cynical grasps for office, and more about the contradiction lodged deep within democracy itself.

In fairness, many of us are guilty of wanting the benefits of something — whether it’s board certification or full campaign coffers — without paying the price.

Or all the rest of us, who resent the chunk of change that government extracts from our pockets but want smooth roads, good schools, police and fire protection, national security, personal security in old age, free markets governed by laws, student loans, flood walls, lakes and parks and the list goes on.

As people inveigle against “big government” and “runaway taxes” while paying less tax than any industrial nation and simultaneously living in an age of miracles … it might do well to remember that there ain’t no free lunch and that civilization isn’t gratis.

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