My immediate family members and I have a joke that we make whenever someone can’t take responsibility for something he or she did.  We laugh and sarcastically say, “IT just happened.”  (The stress is on the word “it” because there was no namable actor; the bad thing just happened on its own.)

For example, if I bump into a table and send a snow globe crashing and splashing all over the floor, I might be tempted to say, “Oh my goodness, it just happened!!”  In reality, I should be taking the blame.  But it’s harder to say, “Oh no, I carelessly bumped into this table and caused this snow globe to break.” (That makes me responsible for the damage – and the mess!)

So whenever someone in our family can’t say that he or she is responsible, we joke and say, “Oh yeah, right, IT just happened.”  While this is a joke in my family, it is not funny when our elected leaders do the same thing. 

Weekly jobless claims are at a new high this week.  The administration’s response: “It just happened!”

Growth in the economy is slow.  “It just happened!”

Health insurers are ramping up their prices.  “It just happened!”

The federal budget deficit for 2010 will be $1.3 trillion.  “It just happened!”

I guess it never crossed the minds of the liberals in power that these problems might be linked to pending tax hikes on small businesses, huge uncertainty in the private sector, massive health care reform, or out-of-control spending? 

Instead of bragging about all the legislation you’ve passed, Mr. Obama, you should be taking responsibility for the consequences of that legislation.  Supporters claim that Americans would trust the president more if only the economy was stronger and jobless rates weren’t so high.  But according to them, those things “just happen.”  

We can’t expect the government to fix America’s problems.  But we can expect and must expect that the government get out of the way and stop being the actor responsible for America’s problems. 

When the American people are in charge – which is what our Founding Fathers wanted for us – we can turn things around.  When each individual is responsible for his or herself, we will move forward to employ more of our fellow Americans, grow our businesses, handle our own health insurance, and hold our government accountable when it comes to federal spending. 

My hope is that these years in American history (the years of “it just happened”) will quickly become part of our past and that we can move forward by returning to the vision of the Founding Fathers – a vision of individual responsibility, limited government, and personal freedom.