We come to the first of our principles represented by the letter “R” in R.I.S.E. The “R’ is Responsible government.
But what makes government responsible or accountable?
Does the rule of law restrain men or government?
The Bible says in I Peter 2:13-14,
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.
Romans 13:1-5 echoes the same sentiment. In verse 4 the Apostle Paul writes,
“For he (the government official) is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he “does not bear the sword for nothing.” He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”
However, in Deuteronomy 16:19-20 Moses warns Judges and officers against “pay to play” politics when he says,
“You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous. Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”
With this foundation, the Founding Fathers looked beyond those who would administer the law and justice, to codify it in a document that would restrain administrators of the law.
Patrick Henry said,
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”Patrick Henry
Thus, a responsible government must work both ways to ensure justice. The overreach of Government brings tyranny, while the lack of sound laws invites anarchy. It is critical that we have a balance of just laws and righteous administrators to enforce those laws.
Responsible Government therefore asserts that,
Citizens deserve a government, which is fiscally responsible. Waste, fraud, and duplication in government must be eliminated. All monetary transactions, except for classified operations, should be transparent.
Public debt, except for infrastructure, should be avoided. Government budgets should fit within existing revenues. Spending reductions, not tax increases, are the preferred solutions to revenue shortfalls. Taxation should be restricted to the most minimal levels, and the burden of taxation should be spread as equally as possible among its citizens. In addition, the goal of taxation should never be employed for the redistribution of wealth or restricting productivity, economic growth, or savings.
Therefore, there should be no talk about graduated taxes that discriminate against business owners and the wealthy. A flat tax is the fairest tax for all people, where everyone pays the same percentage—which is their fair share.
Government policy should encourage self-sufficiency and promote the work ethic among citizens. Public funds should not be used to support persons who are capable, albeit unwilling, to provide for their own needs. Government welfare programs for the needy should strive to enforce the dignity of the individual, strengthen the family unit, and encourage the individual’s potential for self-sufficiency.
Government policy should be constrained by the rule of law embodied in the state and federal constitutions, which innovatively guarantees our liberties by spreading power among the three branches of the federal government, and between the federal government and the states. Hence each branch of government, including the delineation of authority between state and federal, should perform their function as defined by the U.S. Constitution and various state constitutions.
One of the primary responsibilities of the Federal government is to protect the nation and the American people. This requires a strong and capable military, capable intelligence services, and a vigorous law enforcement and homeland security capacity. It also mandates an efficient and proactive foreign policy that looks after American interests in conjunction with our allies, yet stands resolute against our enemies.
Unfortunately, Corrupt leadership, will always try to pervert justice,But, Jer. 9:23-24 reminds us, thus, says the Lord:
“Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches; but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
Responsible Government reflects Justice and Righteousness, for all.
The preamble to R.I.S.E.