Here is a list of stupid things the government spends money on. If we go back over budgets of years past, we would find plenty more stupid things the government wastes money on.
Years ago, the late Senator William Proxmire, a Democrat from Wisconsin awarded a Golden Fleece Award for really idiotic government programs. If there was a Golden Fleece Award television show, it would run a lot longer than the Oscars. That’s without the speeches….
Members of both parties campaign against the deficit. Over and over, Americans hear platitudes about cutting it. However, reality trumps political speeches. No matter which party is in charge, the deficit and amount of government spending has grown. The reason Republicans and Independents (who are they really?) were so chagrined with the Bush administration is they had the opportunity to cut spending and didn’t. 9/11 helped them create another bureaucratic monstrosity. Only a government employee would want to see a women prove that she was carrying a breast pump on a plane. Humiliating.
But, talk to a small businessman about dealing with government regulators. They will stop at nothing and don’t know humility. There are legions of anecdotes. Ask a person in the body shop business about their experience when the OSHA man visits. Ask the garbage business proprietor about the EPA. Ask the family farmer about the USDA. Along with the stories, there is also a legacy of deficit.
What’s wrong with America? Nothing is really wrong with Americans. There is something grossly wrong with what we have allowed our government to become. It’s far too big. It’s inefficient. There are no real market related checks and balances that can constrain it. At least if a big corporation performs poorly, they go out of business provided the government doesn’t bail them out.
There is only one way to deal with the deficit that will work. Eliminate the agencies. Sell off the public lands, sell off the unused buildings. End the subsidies of all things. Let businesses and individuals sink or swim based on their skill and delivering value propositions to the marketplace.
We have passed out enough Golden Fleece Awards to last three eternities. We know the problem. Now it’s time to fix it.