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With Christmas upon us, there is only one thing left on my Christmas list — less government.

My perfect Christmas gift would be for the political class to stop playing Santa Claus. I do not want politicians to promise me an endless bag of goodies that cannot be paid for now or even by the next generation. A few items that could fill my Christmas stocking:

  • A government that stops telling me what kind of light bulbs to use, what kind of car I must drive, and how much water I can use to flush the toilet.
  • A government that stops giving my tax dollars to millionaire film makers and green causes such as solar companies and battery makers, most of whom go bankrupt.
  • A government that stops printing more money, calling it quantitative easing.
  • A government that actually passes a budget rather than an endless string of temporary deals which kick the can down the road.
  • A government that stops accumulating debt that cannot be paid back even by future generations.

Perhaps I am asking for too much. After all, the political class must know if we have been naughty or nice, and I am sure we can trust the government to give us what we deserve. I will have to wait until November to give them what they deserve.

Editor's Note: A version of this article first appeared on December 25, 2011.


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Jim Riley got his own fiscal house in order so he could retire. Now he wonders why his city government can’t do the same for their employees, and taxpayers who could end with huge bills from the unfunded retirement liabilities.

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