It’s always seemed a strange idea, this notion liberals cling to (bitterly, I might add) that if a little government is beneficial for someone, somewhere, then a whole lot of government must be great for everybody.

Yet it seems to be their guiding philosophy that they will ride even beyond the breaking point.

Consider the case of the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia.

The city government has concerns about public safety in the event of fires, as many cities rightly do. In order to ensure that firefighters can do their jobs, the city purchased about 120 new fire hydrants at a cost of $2,000 apiece.

But the city can’t install the hydrants. Other cities across the country are facing the same dilemma.

The reason why is because the federal Environmental Protection Agency ruled out of the blue last month that the level of lead used safely in nearly all fire hydrants across the nation for years is now dangerous.

The American Water Works Association, which represents about 80 percent of the water utilities in the United States, has asked the EPA to see reason, noting that the surprise ruling will cost cities millions of dollars for no health benefit.

Mueller Water Products in Atlanta, the largest hydrant maker in the U.S., has also protested the ruling, citing no discernible health benefit.

The rule stems from a law enacted in 2011, the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act, which requires the maximum level of lead in plumbing components that contact the drinking water supply to be reduced from 8 percent to 0.25 percent, a nearly 97 percent reduction.

Physicians consulting with the EPA have said there is no safe level of ingested lead, but you can’t help but wonder what would be considered a safe level of flame if the hydrants are all sitting on a warehouse shelf.

Another example of government tripping itself up, though this one may have more ulterior motives behind it, is the Air Force’s current problems with pilot retention.

The military expends a lot of time, money and effort to train pilots, but lately a lot of experienced fliers have been leaving the military despite offers of huge cash bonuses to stay.

The reason is simple: Uncle Sam won’t let them fly. Between President Obama’s sequester plan and other budget shenanigans, the average squadron is facing groundings of two to three months on a rolling basis.

Could the White House find other programs to cut than the military? Of course. But that too is a plan.

You might also wonder about the recent persecuting of Christians in the military, particularly the Air Force. The Pentagon has been pushing and denying that crusade since the president decided “gay” is the way in the armed services.

Our government not only interferes with us mere citizens, but with other branches of government.

The idea of government getting so bureaucratic that it achieves nothing has a certain appeal, except for the problem that we have to pay for it.