Paternalism in governance has taken on a whole new meaning. The Obama administration is the latest in a long line of over-achieving parents. This conjures up the modern trend of helicopter parenting, aptly displayed recently by the modern intellectual Homer Simpson. The operating principle of the helicopter parent is maintaining a close eye on a child's day-to-day activities and being ready to jump in to mow down any obstacles that my stand in the child's way. Though the actions may be misguided, the motivation is a noble one. Every parent wants to see their child succeed, and most cringe at the thought of their child's failures, even the small ones. Insofar as the parent has the means to help the child, he or she is the only one likely to be harmed by the process.
The motivation and operating principle translate directly to helicopter governance, but the nobility of the motivation does not. The Obama administration wants to make college and healthcare "affordable" to all of its children, even if the immutable laws of finance get in the way. Putting aside the obvious fallacy of considering the citizens of the several states to be the children of the federal government, the most insidious lie behind these utopian promises of milk and honey is that the parent in this case has no resources of its own to make good on them. The mother who desperately wants her daughter to attend private school may take on a second job, and we may look upon this as laudable. But, the mother who steals from the church collection plate to pay for her son's violin lessons should get no such praise from us. The father who raids Peter's savings to win Paul's affection with an Xbox deserves a special sort of shunning. Our sovereigns cannot work overtime, get a second job or put on a bake sale to mold the world closer to their heart's desires. Their only wealth is a claim on our sweat, and they've shown little aversion to spending it. They take the high moral ground in that they are merely securing the right to education and the right to healthcare, but these are no different than Paul's right to an Xbox. There is no such thing as the right to take a ride on your neighbor's back because rights are those things to be respected by others not provided by them.