When legislators or the public consider a newly-proposed government program, or an existing one for that matter, the first thought is usually, "How can we make this work best?" Instead, the first question should be, "Is this something government should be doing at all?"
We should also be asking questions like these:
- "When this program grows in scope and cost — and it almost assuredly will — will that be a good thing?"
- "Will it result in people taking more responsibility for themselves and their families, or less responsibility?"
- "Will it help some people in the short-run but incentivize behavior that creates dependency and actually harms others in the long-run?"
- "Will it enhance the ability of parents to exercise their responsibility and authority, or will it place government in the parental role?"
We’ve posted these and other questions on our Governing By Principle website. There you’ll also find the principles which should guide state policy.