The Sky Is Falling

Chicken Little of the famous children's story falsely believed that "the sky is falling" when a harmless acorn bopped his head. He scared the other animals into believing it too, making them vulnerable to Foxy Loxy who took advantage of their fear and lured them into his den to be eaten.

A Sky Is Falling BIGGIB is a fear tactic used by Big Government advocates to scare people into believing that anything less than substantial, sustained increases in government spending will harm them - and thus we must keep taxes and spending high - or raise them higher.

They hold hostage those few government services that a lot of voters know or care about such as police, firefighting, trash pickup, snow plowing, access to government-owned parks and recreational facilities, and government schools.

A Sky Is Falling BIGGIB covers up the fact that the areas of government they threaten to cut typically consume a relatively small portion of the government's budget. They refuse to put up for discussion the hundreds of less popular Big Government Programs that ought to be immediately repealed and defunded.

Furthermore, the sky is falling denies the fact that even "essential" or "core" government services such as police, firefighting, schools, and roads are often better served with less, not more, taxpayer money. Most of these government services are already dramatically over-funded and over-staffed. Giving them even more money encourages more waste and poor performance.

While decrying the alleged lack of funds for Big Government Programs, decriers of the Sky Is Falling callously dismiss the plight of taxpayers who are reeling from real financial problems such as job losses (in far greater proportion than government job losses), substantial pay cuts (government compensation packages are almost never cut and often increasing much faster than in the private sector), and stock market losses (government pensions usually retain their value better than stocks do in a recession).

Users of the Sky is Falling technique also ignore the negative impact of the high taxes they seek on the individuals and businesses who would be forced to pay them.

Example 1:

Big Government advocates call for tax increases, threatening to lay off firefighters if they don't get the money they demand. But they neglect to tell you that just a year ago, they laid off a dozen firefighters, allowing them to retire on 80% of their highest pay. Now they want to hire a dozen new firefighters, forcing taxpayers to pay twice for every one firefighter who's actually working.

Example 2:

Tax increasers threaten to lay off teachers or cut After School Programs if voters don't vote for a school bond. But they hide the fact that part of the tax increase would go to bad teachers - who should be fired - and who will get higher pay and better benefits from a tax increase.

Example 3:

Big Government advocates pretend to want to improve health care by decrying the number of people"uninsured". But these same Big Government advocates cause people who want insurance to go without it by advocating for massive insurance regulations that drive up the cost, making health insurance unaffordable. They've done this to such an extent in Massachusetts that catastrophic care is effectively illegal. Only costly health plans, often costing in excess of $500/ month for a healthy young adult, are available.

They also pretend that it's a good thing for everyone to have a health insurance policy - when in fact it's a sign of a dysfunctional health care system. Far fewer people would need health insurance and would prefer to pay cash if Big Government health care policies didn't unnecessarily drive the price of all health care through the roof - often making it cost five to ten times more than it should be.

They further pretend that these "uninsured" people don't have access to critical health care if they need it - when they do. Emergency rooms will accept them. There is no crisis as they claim.

But there are serious problems with the American health care - all of them caused by Big Government. All of them can be remedied by ending Big Government involvement in medicine and making government small. But the Sky Is Falling Crowd lobbies desperately for the opposite: more Big Government.

Example 4:

Big Government advocates claim that homeless shelters will be shuttered if politicians don't pass a tax increase. But they ignore the fact that high taxes cause individual incomes to drop, which results in fewer dollars for private charity. Therefore people currently served by charity in the private sector, including people who need a temporary place to live, are harmed by higher taxes.

Private charity, which includes the generous acts of individual taxpayers who help their friends and family in times of need, is dramatically more successful and cost effective than Big Government welfare. When taxes go down and individual incomes increase, private donations go up.