Scientists on Wednesday revealed what they claimed was the first ever photograph taken of a black hole. But this can’t be true because people have been taking pictures of government since the dawn of photography.
This early photo of the U.S. Capitol was taken in 1846, 70 years before black holes were characterized and 125 years before the first one was discovered.
Black holes famously consume everything within their reach. Government demonstrates a similar appetite.
Humanity fears the unstoppable power of the black hole. Anything that encounters a black hole is pulled into a dark abyss from which not even light can escape. Slip within one’s reach and doom is certain.
Thankfully, government can only aspire to such inescapable domination. As a creation of man, government can be controlled. But that can be done only by suppressing its natural tendency to expand and consume.
We do that first by dividing and balancing its power. In this way we turn its power against itself. But that is not enough. We must also control ourselves.
Government will constantly expand as long as we fail to guard against the natural human temptation to increase our own status and authority by enlarging the ravenous, massive force we have created to serve us.
Resisting this temptation is difficult. Think of all the good a more powerful government might do if only it could be kept in “the right” hands. Giving in to that temptation causes government power to expand, which necessarily causes the power of the governed to shrink.
It is as The Simpsons explained about black holes in Season 24.
Sadly, too few people in power take seriously the wisdom passed down by the Founding Fathers — or The Simpsons.
The day after the release of the black hole photo, the N.H. House of Representatives passed a budget that increases state baseline spending by $382 million and raises taxes and fees by $417 million, as we explained in a report just after news of the black hole photo broke. These are not small, incremental changes. The spending figure is a 14.8 percent increase over fiscal year 2018.
The House budget aggressively expands the size and power of state government. It’s important to recognize that the House’s disagreement with Governor Chris Sununu is not primarily about services provided. It is about power.
The best example of this dynamic is the House’s immediate rejection of the governor’s compromise on paid family and medical leave. In the governor’s proposal, that service — a priority of the House majority — could be provided by the private sector through voluntary transactions. There would be no coercion, no tax, no government expansion. The House instantly rejected this option in favor of a mandate, a tax, and an expansion of governmental power.
The surplus offers another example. The governor had spent the state’s large budget surplus on items that do not fall within the baseline budget. This was to avoid creating obligations on future budgets — obligations that would drive up taxes and expand the size of government. The House instead rolled it into the regular budget, necessitating tax increases.
In sum, the House budget expands both the size and the reach of state government. It enlarges state power and authority in much the same way a black hole grows — by grabbing things that were not previously under its control and absorbing them. When this is the primary motivation of government, all that is just outside of government’s reach ought to be worried.