Our Threatened Freedom

Does Civil Government Cost Too Much? (03:31)

R.J. Rushdoony


R.J. Rushdoony: 00:01 Does civil government cost too much? This is R.J. Rushdoony with a report on our threatened freedom. A number of years ago, Will Rogers remarked that it was good thing that we are not getting all the government we are paying for. With that, we can agree. On the other hand, who wants to pay for more government than he wants? We are getting more and more government from Federal, state, and local agencies. The price is getting higher and higher. According to the Tax Foundation, the cost of all these branches of civil government will exceed one thousand seven trillion in 1981. This means the cost to every man, woman, and child is $4,678 or $18,712 for a family of four. You may not pay this all in taxes today, but you will eventually, directly or indirectly. You may, if you are on welfare, be getting $18,000 in services, but even that is unlikely. One thing is certain and it is this. If you work for some agency of civil government, you are indeed ahead of the game. The real beneficiary of status spending is civil government and nobody else on the whole.

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:26 Moreover, at every level of civil government, the budget is prepared by the bureaucracy. And no bureaucracy is prone to cutting it’s own receipts. In spite of all the talk in early and mid 1981 about tax cuts, there were none. All we saw were cuts in the requests for tax increases. Will all those supposed tax cuts, we still had our highest budget yet. We are, in brief, paying more for civil government than we want or get. We are supporting a giant and imperial bureaucracy, which treats us either as the enemy or as cows to be milked. The main beneficiaries of taxation are not the people, but the Federal, state, and local agencies of civil government. It is not the people on welfare who are getting rich in our tax money. It is the Federal government and other levels of government.

R.J. Rushdoony: 02:31 When California enacted Proposition 13 and it’s mandatory tax cuts on property taxes, the politicians screamed that all kinds of necessary services, such as police and fire protection, would be cut. None of this happened. Instead, people were less threatened by loss of housing because of heavy taxes. The economy improved. And for most people, the results were overwhelmingly good. Indeed, it became apparent that taxes could’ve been cut even further with an improvement in the quality of life in California. Instead of getting us better civil government, our high taxes are giving us oppressive rule and they are being used to limit and threaten our freedom. This has been R.J. Rushdoony with a report on our threatened freedom.


Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916–2001), was a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical law to society. He started the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965.  His Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) began the contemporary theonomy movement which posits the validity of Biblical law as God’s standard of obedience for all. He therefore saw God’s law as the basis of the modern Christian response to the cultural decline, one he attributed to the church’s false view of God’s law being opposed to His grace. This broad Christian response he described as “Christian Reconstruction.”  He is credited with igniting the modern Christian school and homeschooling movements in the mid to late 20th century. He also traveled extensively lecturing and serving as an expert witness in numerous court cases regarding religious liberty. Many ministry and educational efforts that continue today, took their philosophical and Biblical roots from his lectures and books.

Learn more about R.J. Rushdoony by visiting: https://chalcedon.edu/founder