The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.
Cleaning out a heat exchanger at one thirty in the morning last night when I should have been sleeping, cursing the engineer from hell who managed to jam the fittings on this thing into the most inaccessible knuckle busting place behind molding press number 1’s sheet metal facade, I couldn’t help but think I should have gone to college I need to hire a maintenance man I should have been born a Kennedy!
With only common sense and that miniscule bit of capital I’ve managed to accumulate over years, I find I rarely indulge the esoteric kind of thinking with which college grads, celebrities, and wealthy heirs partake. You know that uppity, sanctimonious kind of thought that mechanics, truckers, and tradesmen, could not possibly comprehend. The kind of thought and philosophy that only educated intellectual elites could imagine to solve all the ills which plague our modern society.
For the brilliant purveyors of these ideas and their high minded precepts I have a simple question.
What happens to all of your good ideas when guys like me, hard-working middle class, grease under the nails and a little dense in the noggin, don’t follow along with your prescribed solutions to America’s problems?
After a myriad of negative responses, lashing me for my ignorance and idiocy in lamenting the exalted fair tax last week, I was reminded how successful, omnipotent government policies have been in managing and directing economies throughout the world.
So well in fact, the Soviet Union no longer exists.
China has reluctantly adopted free-enterprise policies because she couldn’t even feed her people.
Youngsters are rioting in the streets of France because unemployment is over twenty-five percent for that demographic.
The fair tax is a mirage. No matter how good it sounds it will still be managed by bureaucrats. It also gives the taxpayer much more mobility in avoiding taxes by refusing to purchase things, or by purchasing them on a black market.
The point is, if you are looking to some new government program to solve problems you’re sure to be disappointed.
How is the fair tax or any other radical policy shift going to answer these realities:
Bureaucrats don’t get paid by solving problems, they get paid by raising taxes.
Government doesn’t grow to help people, it grows to help itself.
Politicians are the only people on earth who become multi-millionaires on government salaries.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Those first three are mine, some guy Newton came up with the last one.
Brevity is the soul of wit Shakespeare.
If we don’t focus on making government smaller and simpler to insure that our politicians and our bureaucrats possess less power, no amount of imaginative policy making (including the fair tax) is going to make our lives any better.
Our government is a big filter, but unlike the water filters I should have installed to protect press number 1’s heat exchanger which filter out damaging particulate only to allow clean water to pass, our government takes out the good clean water and lets us keep the dangerous particulate.
According to the Heritage Foundation:
Government auditors cannot account for 25 billion taxpayer dollars.
One hundred million dollars has been spent on unused plane tickets by the Pentagon.
Department of Agriculture has diverted mil lions into personal purchases through government issued credit cards.
Medicare wastes billions annually.
The Army Corps of Engineers routinely exaggerates data to increase its budget.
The Federal government reimburses over fifty percent of Medicaid costs to states. The system encourages states to over report its Medicaid expenditures.
Etc., etc., etc.
The fundamental problem is government is too big, it is corrupt, and bureaucrats as a group are incompetent. Messing around with peripheral tribulations only masks and obfuscates the real problems Americans need to address.
I suppose all the fair tax supporters like Hilary’s universal health care system as well it’s suppose to make health care more affordable for everyone, right? Anyone want to bet?
Anytime you hear politicians proclaim the government has the answer to our problems, remember, enriching politicians is the only task government has ever managed.
By the way, here’s the bookend quote.
Man is not free unless government is limited.
Copyright 2008 Jim Pontillo