It’s Time To Trim Some Government Fat

If you’re concerned about the GSA scandal and what it symbolizes regarding our government, you should be. There isn’t an agency, department or program that would survive a private sector audit. Can you imagine the number of scandals we would have if we really got serious about evaluating government efficiency? Which makes it all the more confusing to me how private-sector citizens can actually think more government is good. I believe in small government. I question government’s intent regarding all things. It is filled with hypocrisy, saturated with corruption and it is administered by, for the most part, self-serving people that value their future more than the country’s. The federal government is fat from consumption and most of its agencies and departments are flabby and bloated. Would it be so bad to trim some fat?

When I was young, being a government employee was not the celebrated career it is now. It was common knowledge then that the government hires virtually anyone, no matter the true competencies of the individual. And, national scandals aside, it fires virtually no one, regardless of the level of incompetence. Unfortunately, the practice still exists, it’s just hidden better from the public.

For example, in Dayton, Ohio, Ohio, a candidate can score a 58% and 66% on a two-part exam and still become a police officer. I’ve been long out of high school but isn’t that an F and a D minus, or something damn close? But wait, it gets better. These scores were decreased from the previously outrageous requirements of 66% and 72%. Interesting situation that you can fail a test yet get a job and a pension – and a gun. Perhaps most tragically, we expect these flunkies to make quality decisions while on the beat. It’s absurd. More specifically, it’s government.

And you may have heard Congress actually passed Obama-care before major sections were written. We’re just now learning of the ferocious in-fighting and shameful selfishness that took place during its passage (see Obama-care). Let’s not forget we haven’t had a budget from the Senate in over 1,000 days, even though it’s part of their job. Just how trust-worthy are these people? We give them a vote of confidence, they give us the shaft. Clearly, these politicians could give a chuck about you, me or the quality of the country. They’re about re-elections and union pensions — nothing more. We could easily scrape a few from the bottom of the barrel and improve some things a bit, don’t you think?

I also doubt the government’s ability regarding all enterprises. Recall in 2009 when the government had to announce it was 30% off on vaccine projections. Have you heard of the Benjamin Isherwood and the Henry Eckford naval vessels? Some $600 million wasted. Most would agree the government was slow to react to the BP spill, further escalating the crisis. And it’s common knowledge now that the government was the real disaster during Hurricane Katrina. In fact, the Cato Institute is calling for the gutting of the Army Corps of Engineers for excessive corruption and incompetence.

How about the Department of Education? Promoted and politicized by the National Education Association (NEA) a labor union, and signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on October 17, 1979, it began operating on May 16, 1980. The point here is that it’s not very old. America existed, give or take, some 200 years without it. Do we really need it? (continued, page 2 link below)

In 2008, William Bennett, former Secretary of Education, outlined 20 concerns regarding US education. Among them was, “American 12th graders rank 19th out of 21 industrialized countries in mathematics achievement and 16th out of 21 nations in science. Our advanced physics students rank dead last.” More recently, DegreeResearch.com reported in 2010 that 1.2 million students drop out of high school every year, some 7,000 per day. Do you feel these types of statistics are impressive? I don’t. This type of performance isn’t worthy of a paycheck or pension — it’s worthy of a purge.

The Department of Energy is a similar situation, being relatively young (1977). The Department of Energy’s fiscal 2012 budget  request was for $21 billion. Yes, that’s with a “b”. With that kind of funding, how can we have any energy problems at all? Apparently, some folks aren’t doing their jobs — big surprise there. Couldn’t we dump this department as well?

Of course, these examples are just a few drops in a sea of government corruption and ineptitude. Google the subjects and you can read for months. In my life, the only thing I’ve seen the government do well is perpetuate itself. It does this by deceiving the public and stepping on the Constitution. Name a program and you can find horrifying incompetence. Name an agency and you can find disturbing short-sightedness and waste. Name an institution and you can find corruption and the exploitation of the citizenry. Only the most absurdly naive are blind to this and only those with an agenda try to deny this.

It’s time to bring the federal government under control. Excessive government leads to waste, corruption and destruction of freedom. The departments of Energy, HUD, Commerce and Education, as well as the Corps of Engineers can be eliminated and America would be a healthier country. As a citizen, observing the changes in American society over the last 30 years or so, it’s clear to me government doesn’t need to be small, it needs to be infinitesimal.

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