What do recent federal government budgets all have in common? They mandate more centralized control over the lives of Americans while sacrificing our national security and sovereignty.

Sound like a good deal? Are you happy paying a greater percentage of your paycheck every week for this? Have Americans completely forgotten why their forefathers sacrificed their lives, their fortunes and risked their sacred honor? Fortunately for them, they maintained their honor. The same cannot be said about this generation of Americans.

Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about – why I’m so exercised. Recently, I read a Wall Street Journal analysis of the phony balanced budget President Clinton has submitted to Congress. Let me spare you most of the drivel passing for conventional wisdom in this piece and just quote verbatim the very last paragraph.

“So, although the federal budget is being balanced, Danny Salazar, a sophomore at New Mexico State University is getting subsidized tutoring in algebra and economics, and his handwritten papers are typed for free. The 21-year-old from Gallena, N.M., whose high-school graduating class had only 20 students, says the big state university had overwhelmed him. If not for the federal program, he says, he probably would have dropped out. Today he is maintaining a 3.0 average.”

Doesn’t that just warm your heart? Don’t you feel better now about the sacrifices you and your family are making each week? Doesn’t this story just make it all worthwhile?

Let me get this straight. The federal government is now subsidizing the tutoring of individual college students who are thrown into the university after being totally unprepared by years of federally subsidized public school education. Worse yet, the federal government is providing typists – for free – because those same students are simply too lazy to type them themselves. Isn’t this great?

Wouldn’t you just love to sit in on the economics lessons this kid is getting from the federal government? Can’t balance your budget, Danny boy? No problem. Just borrow some money and count it as revenue. That’s what Washington is doing so you can have access to your own personal secretary and private tutors.

Keep in mind, this little scandal is actually being reported by people who believe it illustrates a triumph – a federal government program that makes sense, that’s working. Pretty scary, isn’t it?

But this is only the tip of the iceberg ready to take down America like the Titanic. Despite the fact that domestic spending in last year’s federal budget was already 17 percent higher than in 1990, Clinton is proposing to raise it by $12.5 billion next year. This trend continues unabated after the so-called Republican Revolution begun in 1994.

“Has there been some fundamental change in the objectives of the federal government? It doesn’t appear so as yet,” says John Cogan, a Stanford University economist and former Reagan administration budget official.

“When (Congressional Budget Office Director) June O’Neill told them about all this found money, Congress and the president proceeded to spend it all in the form of new entitlements and a package of junk tax cuts,” says another former Reagan official, William Niskanen, now head of the Cato Institute in Washington.

And while spending increases on these domestic wealth transfer schemes, the key constitutional function of the federal government – providing for a common defense – has been taking a huge hit. Total defense outlays this year will be a third less than in fiscal 1990. By the year 2001, if America survives that long, the Pentagon will have closed 97 major bases. In a real sign of the times, the dawn of the Age of Aquarius, Maine’s former Loring Air Force Base, which once housed B-52s, drew 65,000 to a rock concert last summer. Don’t you feel safer now?

But don’t think the federal government has turned totally pacifist. In fact, the most dangerous trend of the last decade has been the government’s propensity to increase the number of domestic men-at-arms. The Justice Department, for instance, just one of dozens of agencies now madly training, hiring and arming federal police, employs 120,000 people today – up from 79,000 in 1990. Clinton proposes to add 5,000 more next year.

Come to think of it, I don’t know what’s worse — paying taxes to hire clerical help for college students or for arming tens of thousands of new federal cops.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.