July 6, 2018

There are a lot of people these days who think government should do everything for us.  For many who are overworked and feeling burned out, that can be a very tempting idea.  After all, personal responsibility is a lot of work! 


But when you look at the staggering debt that’s threatening our grandchildren’s futures and wondering how that came to be, the answer is simple: a lack of personal responsibility.  People thinking up things they thought the government ought to do and expecting them to be paid for with somebody else’s money. Thomas Jefferson said, “The government is best that governs least,” but small, cost-efficient government requires a population that’s willing and able largely to govern themselves. 


To explain why government costs as much as it does, let me take you to a city that I’ll call “Hucktown” (Hey, it’s my story, so I get to name the town.)  In Hucktown, everyone is exactly like…well, me.  Nobody smokes or drinks or takes drugs.  We all obey the laws and try to watch our diets and exercise.  We stay married and teach our kids to respect other people’s property and do their homework.  Everyone gets up early and usually works late (they have to: since they’re just like me, they all have at least five jobs.)    


Because of all this, Hucktown’s government would save a lot of money.  It wouldn’t need a jail or a divorce court or drug counselors or rehab clinics or very many hospitals or police.  I can guarantee it wouldn’t need to hire anyone to scrub off graffiti.  So can you imagine how low the taxes would be in Hucktown?  That’s because when people govern themselves, by practicing civility and personal responsibility, they need less outside government to force them to behave properly.  


But before you start packing up to move there, I should point out that Hucktown is imaginary (although Branson is close.)  In reality, there will always be people who impose costs on society, either because of problems they can’t help, or because they choose not to be responsible.  For these folks, we’ll always need expensive social services, hospitals, rehabs, counselors and jails.  


But what if you lived in the exact opposite of Hucktown: a place where everyone decided that it would be easier to cede responsibility for every tough decision to the government?  After all, it’s hard work to choose a medical insurance policy, or plan for retirement, or decide what kind of car to drive.  Why not let the government take all those decisions off your shoulders?


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Because you pay very dearly for it, in three ways.  First, if you don’t like the decision the government makes for you, tough luck.  Second, as Ben Franklin pointed out, when you trade a little freedom for a little security, you’ll soon have neither.  And third, there’s the staggering monetary cost of having the government do all those things for all those people. 


I imagined a town where people didn’t need a lot of government, so taxes could be very low and named it “Hucktown.”  Now, you imagine a place where people expect the government to do everything.  Then imagine how high the taxes and how big the debt would be.  I’ll let you name that place, but choose carefully. Unfortunately, there are so many places like that, a lot of names are already taken.  My suggestion: “Bernietown.”


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Comments 1-25 of 31

  • Lynn Morgan

    07/09/2018 01:09 PM

    I am getting to the point that sometimes I think we may need to start over. I lived in Monticello and Hot Springs for over 30 years, most people I knew were hard working truck drivers and farmers. Just could't believe it when BC was elected to the highest office in the land, and they are still powerful, phuy When I could no longer drive I came home to communistic colorado ( noticed I used small letter c). Every one thinks I should go on disability, but what about self respect? Paul said if you don't work you don't eat, we need more Paul and less BC. Just how hard would it be to start over?

  • Earl Schultz

    07/09/2018 11:23 AM

    Its easy for the lazy to count on us hard working people to carry their weight - and its costly. Not to mention the cost of "correctional facility" in this country (How many are not even citizens#@!) I could go on forever. But thank you Mike for trying to fight the tide and keeping us sane! Love your show too!

  • Roger Joubert

    07/09/2018 07:49 AM

    Great story about Hucktown and Bernietown. Let's hope that if most people choose Bernietown, the "undo" key hasn't stopped working.

  • Michael Novak

    07/08/2018 02:41 PM

    Governor, thank you for the well informed and written article. Please help me...If, for example, there were a "Bernietown". The government would have to pay for these multitude of services by raising taxes...especially on the wealthy. At some point, wouldn't the wealthy get fed up, move their home to Belieze or someplace similar, to avoid these crippling taxes? Then, whom does the government tax to pay for the services?
    Thank you very much
    Michael Novak

  • Fontenot Rita

    07/07/2018 10:25 PM

    We need to decrease big government, everyone that can work, goes to work, takes responsibility for their needs, helping others and turn back to God. We need Him back in American schools and everywhere else!


    07/07/2018 10:10 PM


  • charles Teachout

    07/07/2018 06:38 PM

    You didn't mention that in Hucktown, the Gospel is respected in the schools. The teachers and principal are faithful to the daily reading, and the children are disciplined by the wisdom of the Bible. However, I would hope that there would be Catholics there who would invite everyone to learn Thomistic theology and philosophy, so that the principles of Natural Law would be taught and respected there, too. With sanctifying grace, goodness knows how many Hucktown tragedies might be met with the simple love of the neighbors. When there was a bill to pay, there would be local charity drives. The sheer joy of living there would bring businesses and industries and God-fearing folks in to live from miles around. Maybe they could start a good restaurant so tourists could come like they come to Frankenmuth, Michigan!

  • Gail Jones

    07/07/2018 03:08 PM

    Hillaryville is a name for a town run by big government!
    I don't want to live there either!

  • C.W. Hetherington

    07/07/2018 02:59 PM

    I am a believer in term limits for all members of Congress---And the recent comments by Maxine Waters makes me even more sure. If the House does not get rid of her---by whatever means necessary---then it is not doing its job.

  • Charles H King Jr

    07/07/2018 02:42 PM

    You are so right about Hucktown and Bernietown. I've been waiting for an article relating our political/government problems to individual lack of responsibility. It's easier to have someone read for us or to us and tell us what it said rather than learn to read and comprehend on our own. Thus ultimately not responsible for our position in life because we can't read and improve our ability/value to ourselves and others. Even more critical we can not be responsible for our representatives in the government because someone else told us who to vote for. A step further and we find our representatives to be of the Bernietown type who only pad their own bed and convince the populace, lie to them, that they are really taking care of them so "vote for me." Then reality sets in and the money starts to run out and the "United States of American" becomes more and more like most of the other countries of the world where you are told who/what you can worship, eat, work at, be entertained by, even marry, how many children you may have, who your doctor/hospital will be and how often and for what you can use them, etc., etc. and etc. I am 80 years old and still fighting but spend more time praying for my children, grand-children and great grand-children than fighting any more.
    God bless you on your mission and know that you are included in my prayers. Responsibility comes from God and without God it is extremely hard to teach!!!

  • Louise Harsha

    07/07/2018 02:31 PM


  • Kathryn Caputo

    07/07/2018 02:16 PM

    What about New York City or San Francisco or Chicago. Oops, sorry, those names are taken.

    Your newsletters are terrific. Keep them coming.

  • Larry Sparks

    07/07/2018 01:21 PM

    I agree with your essay on personal responsibility and accountability but it is no longer taught in public schools or colleges. The left wing teaches economics of John Kenneth Gailthbraith, John Maynard Kane or Karl Marx that government should provide all your needs. Unfortunately the majority of the "snowflakes and Millennials" have adopted this economic philosophy.

    Parents and society (government) has made it to easy and soft for youth to go to college where there is a continuation of their socialist and communist indoctrination. Colleges and Universities refuse to hire any traditional or conservative professors. The time to force students to earn their way through college is long overdue, going to college is not a divine right. How about youth and young adults learning the right to work law...this is what I was taught. Just maybe, they will learn the value of the dollar, work ethics and conservative economics. Lessons learned is that nobody owes you a living including the government.

  • Eddie Smith

    07/07/2018 01:06 PM

    That is dead on. Unfortunately there are far too many Bernietowns in America (no need to provide the actual names, for there are too many to spend time writing). Also it is u fortunate that we are raising and graduating a couple of generations now that have no idea what a Hucktown even looks like, having never experienced one even similar. I kind of blame that on the comatose and complacent church and the parents that failed to make that important in their children’s lives. And maybe the demise of the draft that many times opened doors for kids who had never been taught discipline what that is and why it is important.

  • Leonard Lugo

    07/07/2018 01:05 PM

    A change is needed. But, a question to you Mike. Your a Minister, why did you leave "what God called you,/His call on your life." Lifting up Jesus and Him Crucified!Be blessed.

  • Robert Graham

    07/07/2018 12:59 PM

    Hi Mike: I love your imaginary city and wished it was true. Yet that city comes out of your worldview and like my worldview comes from a Christian background. My young adults don't have that worldview , they have rejected a Christian Worldview and substituted it with a Secular Worldview. When you have a worldview that starts with evolution the logical conclusion is Secularism/Socialism. The strong survive and the weak are preyed upon in the name of social equality or inclusion. The individual does not matter and anything that advances the cause is moral of there is morality. We in North America are facing that very thing and we are dealing the results. Unless individual Christians start living out there worldview along with churches actively engaging with society to promote a Christan Worldview it is going to just get worst.

  • Carol A. Kirchner

    07/07/2018 12:15 PM

    I support your common sense approach to everything! You are always spot on...and I appreciate reading your newsletter!

  • Mark mayfield

    07/07/2018 12:11 PM

    That’s so true mike. With the ever increasing one parent home and children raising themselves. The problem only deepens. Its not that a single parent can’t get the job done, I should know. I’m the product of a single parent and I haven’t seen the inside of a jail cell let alone being arrested for any crime because I knew that I would get my backside tanned real good by mom if any of those things would have happened. The lack of Gods principles being taught in the homes anymore is a major problem leading to people trying to meet their own needs without him which leaves the children either alone or with someone that lacks the moral principles or giving the children the proper attention that’s needed needed to succeed in life. Children cannot raise themselves. We are seeing the product of that today. Children which become adults, without moral principles are a terror and cost us big money.

  • L. Lewis

    07/07/2018 11:38 AM

    Gov. Huckabee, I was wondering how are(we)the aged, sick, disabled, who are U.S. citizens, plus all these incoming people going to be fed, clothed, housed, receive medical, when the money runs out? I received an email from the Social Security board telling me with-in 16 years the money will be gone. No S.S., no S.S.I, no welfare, no food stamps. Previous presidents borrowed from S.S. and never replaced it. People who work pay it in, but evidently it's being pulled out faster than it's going in. Why isn't the liberals and the trouble making media talking about this. This is not Pres. Trumps fault. It all started way before Pres. Trump entered the picture. This is the liberals fault.

  • Stephen Russell

    07/07/2018 11:30 AM

    Tired of Big Govt, downsize,refocus, reorganize, streamline.
    Privitze alone Govt Food Services A-Z, compete for Food services, end Big sugar/salt lobbies,
    Cut down Unions, reform contracts, reviewDoD projects.
    Auction govt surplus yearly by Region,States alone.
    More can be done $$$$

  • Judy Radley

    07/07/2018 11:10 AM

    Thank You Mr. Huckabee, you are spot on! I use the expression of 'spot on' as it is a European term. I have been watching many BBC mystery shows, which are good, but I have also noticed how dependent the people of Europe are in the belief that the govt. is going to help them, and that it is socially necessary to 'have good for the village interests and not good for individual interests'. i.e. socialism. That is not a way to live. All they have going for them in these 'villages' are pubs, i.e. bars and alcohol to keep them from going insane. That is totally nonsensical and to be in a stupor just to deal with every day life, as the govt. runs everything, is no way to live. There is a great reason why the American Revolutionary War was fought, to break away from socialism, communism, and the denial of any individual rights, for the sake of society is best, no room for individual thought. That is unfortunately what the Liberal, Progressives, Democrats want in America, socialistic, communistic, govt. It is why the U.S. Constitution is more relevant today than it ever has been, too many young people are taught the WRONG WAY about govt., that it will 'save us all' but we know it is a intentional misleading way to 'educate' more like indoctrinate young, vulnerable, inexperienced at life and wisdom, of the most innocent and vulnerable citizens of our country, and they do it in schools....and sell it as supposedly legitimate think tanks or rather brain-washing institutions that young citizens are MADE TO GO TO SCHOOL AT AN INSTITUTION, and not so much home-schooling, as that is indirect competition to the Liberal govt. control. The story of "The Little Red Hen" comes to mind at what the Liberals are trying to instill in our young vulnerable students, "as the children's story goes 'who will help me prepare the land? Not I, said the cat, Not I said the dog, Not I said the cow, Not I said the fat little pig, ...but in the end they all want to eat the loaf of bread that the little Red Hen worked hard by herself to produce with no one to help her prepare for it, but they all wanted the made bread, having no shame at not helping her, The Little Red Hen, in the beginning." That is what is taught in today's schools, run by Liberals, to teach 'No Shame' when students don't do their best from start to finish...the hard working ones that produce the best learning skills and do their homework, aren't seen as a role model to others, but as a person who should be shunned because they worked hard on their own and are shamed because they dared and worked to excel past their classmates, by their own hard work....They caused embarrassment for their classmates because they did better than their classmates because they worked harder. But the classmates who didn't do so well, didn't work hard at all, they found excuses, or some made-up mental issues like 'the work is too hard for me, so I must have some 'mental disorder'....instead of working through it they give up and blame others instead of themselves for the short falls. Actually even the teachers in schools try and find short cuts so they don't have to work so hard they don't have the good work ethic that our teachers had when we were in school 50 years ago.... Thank goodness the unions are being finally held accountable for stealing money from the hard working Americans... New York State is one of the most corrupted, union run states in the union, and finally people are clearing seeing that bigger govt. esp. in NYS, is NOT better govt., but worse govt. Hopefully the teachers' unions will finally get their comeuppance and then one day teachers will actually teach and not have to go along with some politically motivated curriculum just to appease the Liberal elitists in NYS.... Once that happens, in all states, then we will see education improving for our children and grand children and as a result, better ideas homegrown in America for America, like the Golden Rule and Faith in God DOES HAVE A PLACE IN EDUCATING OUR YOUNG PEOPLE and not just symbolism over substance as it is now.... to believe in faith, all faiths, that enhance life instead of taking away life, is what needs to be taught and not frowned upon. Sorry this is such long comment, but I have to admit it is nice to find a place where Conservative voices are solicited to be heard and not deemed as hatred. Thank You Mr. Huckabee! God Bless You!

  • John Johnson

    07/07/2018 11:02 AM

    Why doesn't the DOJ proscute "Democrats"? They refused to file charges against Imran Awan the corrupt IT specialist for Debbie Wasserman Shultz!!! We might as well have Hillary Clinton as AG as Jeff Sessions! Jeff may have been a good Senator, but is is worthless as AG. In fact he my be the person that brings down the Trump Administration!!!


    07/07/2018 10:57 AM

    I like the plain, simple, clear message of this article. It really is people copping out on doing reasonable things for themselves. I wonder how much corporate over-advertising, intellectual laziness, mental and moral confusion and physical inactivity has set us up to desire someone to take care of us. Solicitors bombard us with telephone calls day and night to get us to buy or give, adding to the stress and pornography ruins people's minds and hearts--even a TV series can't just tell a story without overt sex thrown in for good measure! Then the constantly rising cost of living! I know what I believe and am set to Love God and take care of my needs, but this other is a constant in people's lives!

  • Mark Mittelstaedt

    07/07/2018 10:43 AM

    And many things could lower costs simply by " ceding " power back to the people / states. The Social Security system - privatize the retirement savings portion ( about 2/3 of the total ) over a 20 year period - the current Ponzi scheme yields...less for everybody. Let the states collect their own gas taxes and build their own roads - we do NOT need a federal highway department. It burns me when &^%$#hole politicians brag about " bringing home the bacon " after they took the bacon from me to begin with ;-}

  • Julie Detlefsen

    07/07/2018 10:40 AM

    I live in Bernietown (also known as BernieState)....MN. I have many well educated friends that still astonish me when they make comments regarding the government and how the government should pay for education, medical care, etc. These are the same friends whose parents worked hard to send them to private schools and give them good educations, lived in good neighborhoods, drove nice cars and basically had anything they wanted. Maybe that is the problem. Their parents were the government. But they watched their parents live the life that Hucktown would be proud of and yet they are still thinking that the Bernie way is better. I can't for the life of me understand that line of thinking. Please help me! I just can't wrap my head around that line of thinking. The hard part is knowing that these are intelligent people, but they for some unexplainable reason can not or will not understand how taxes and government work.
    Thanks for all of your articles. They make me think and give us topics for great conversation.