Monday, February 6, 2012

The Assualt of Growing Government

The role of Government in America is changing, over the last several decades we have seen a shift away from Adam Smith’s idea of limited government. This is occurring on federal, state, and local levels. Much of this has been in the form of mandates. Often unfunded they are fostered upon businesses, organizations and private citizens.

If unchecked government grows - it is the nature of bureaucracy to expand. I for one am concerned that the use of sun-set legislation in underused or the bar set too low when it comes to extending and renewing government bodies. The best time to kill a monster is when its small!

Politicians and bureaucrats, deterred from expanding or funding programs by a few vigilant citizens, wait and find creative ways to reach their objective at a later date. Creating special bonds, attaching fees to needed services, or narrow taxes they fund new authorities, commissions, and districts. These often unneeded quasi government organizations then reach out to expand the influence and power of their directors.

Instead of focusing on the business of government and simplicity, a new proactive movement of “cuteness” cloaked in a veil of flexibility and diversity is being expanded and we are paying the tab. Government is proud of its pet projects, they allow bureaucrats to experiment and try new things without the personal financial risk that a businessman must take. The problem is that they are being creative on our dime.

Nowhere is the expansion of government more apparent than in the area of social services. By replacing the word "want" with the word "need" those seeking a larger and stronger safety net have created a hammock. Many non-working Americans exist under the notion that they have a right to things like a car and a cell phone and it is the obligation of society to supply these items. 

 Government can't be everything to everyone.  At what level should we supply those who choose not, or claim they are unable to carry their share of the burden? Those choosing to describe themselves as victims need to take more personal responsibility. Waiting for the government or someone to do things for you is a recipe for disaster. Claiming entitlements is a form of theft, those that take do so at the expense of others!

Politicians do have a way of distancing themselves from responsibilities. Former Senator Tom Dashel claimed that business "lobbyist in Washington often blocked change". Someone should remind our elected officials that at the end of the day unless the Constitution has been changed that lobbyist are still not allowed to vote!

I should remind those who are less cynical about government that the House and Senate have placed themselves in the enviable position to receive automatic pay raises unless they specifically vote against the increase. Is it any wonder that government grows unchecked in such an environment?

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