Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hundreds of Ways to Screw the Taxpayer

Our federal government is a clanking, soulless monster completely out of control. Good people like Senator Tom Coburn are looking to tame the beast.

Duplication of effort alone accounts for hundreds of billions in waste annually, according to the WSJ article, Billions in Bloat Uncovered in Beltway.

"The U.S. government has 15 different agencies overseeing food-safety laws, more than 20 separate programs to help the homeless and 80 programs for economic development."
OK, I can see food safety laws. I could even perhaps understand the government fostering economic development...  If I saw any evidence anyone in the federal government understood basic economics!  Given the current state of things, I’d say letting the federal government do “economic development” is kinda like allowing Freddie Kruger to perform heart surgery. The Homeless? The federal government has no mandate whatsoever to address that. It’s not in the constitution. Defund it.
The report says there are 18 federal programs that spent a combined $62.5 billion in 2008 on food and nutrition assistance, but little is known about the effectiveness of 11 of these programs because they haven't been well studied.
There is also nothing in the US Constitution that authorizes the federal government to take money from taxpayers and use it to hand out food to people. This is a function more rightly done at the local level, and better and more efficiently done by private charities. What does a DC apparatchik know about poverty in Denver or Detroit? Do they even care about the people they hand this stuff out to? Do they care if bums and welfare cheats are receiving benefits?

This is why faceless, mechanistic charity does not work, and in fact is not charity. There is no connection and no feedback loop.  The givers become callous cogs in a self-serving machine, turning the the entitled recipients into faceless, thankless wards of the state.

Here's More Wasteful Duplication...

"The agency found 82 federal programs to improve teacher quality…"

That clearly has failed—End it!

"80 to help disadvantaged people with transportation…"

Could you imagine President Washington and Congressman Adams handing out horses to those who have none?

"47 for job training and employment…"

That’s what schools and community colleges are for

"… and 56 to help people understand finances"

Government obviously does not understand finances. How in the hell does it expect others to do so? This is madness!

Many of my blogger buddies are probably tired of my Air Force budget cut stories from the Clinton 90’s, but they are apropos. He slashed the DoD budget, and to be fair to him, Bush the Elder started it. DoD ended up being the only department that took real, no kidding cuts, as opposed to others who just had their rate of increase slashed. Bottom line: It forced us to get rid of the dead wood and drop inefficient practices. We came out a leaner, meaner fighting force in the end.

Every corner of federal, state and municipal budgets should be slashed so they can experience the same beneficial process.


Linda said...

Silver ~ "I’d say letting the federal government do “economic development” is kinda like allowing Freddie Kruger to perform heart surgery." I LOVE THAT LINE!!

Excellent post!

Linda said...

"This is why faceless, mechanistic charity does not work, and in fact is not charity. There is no connection and no feedback loop. The givers become callous cogs in a self-serving machine, turning the the entitled recipients into faceless, thankless wards of the state."

Exactly! And worse, since the callous givers don't have an emotional connection with or feel responsible to those who are PROVIDING the give-away money, they are reckless and wasteful with that money. I've seen first hand evidence that the recipients are thankless wards of the state.

We have visited people in local government run housing. They were rundown rows of depressing buildings years ago. The housing authority decided to upgrade this subsidized housing to modern, clean, new brick townhouse-style homes. They really were beautiful with lawns and landscaping, etc. After a few short months, we visited again. The doors had large dents (from kicking, obviously) and the mail boxes had been ripped from the outside wall. The window coverings were torn and shredded. The landscaping was destroyed and trampled, and there was litter everywhere. When something is provided freely (no matter how nice) it ceases to be a valued commodity that is worth least to those who have an entitlement mentality.

Leticia said...

People need to be refreshed on how the military personnel were dealing with severe budget cuts. That should have NEVER happened.

"This is madness!" Indeed, it is my friend and it is slowly changing to insanity.

tha malcontent said...

Tell me about it, Honestly, I don't understand what's going on in the minds of Americans any longer.
I can hardly recognize America anymore.

Always On Watch said...

So much of what the average American believes is Constitutional simply is NOT Constitutional.

We've moved so very far away from the letter and the intent of our governing document!

Jersey McJones said...

There is a four legged chair of constitutional federal taxation in America. I won't bother to cover all four here, because this says it all:

Article I, Section 8, says...

"The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;—And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."

You do know the Constitution, right? Care to explain why you so misrepresent it?

Every question you asked about the constitutionality of programs is answered positively in the Constitution. Do you have a serious problem with the Constitution? I love the American Constitution! If only we could add a couple of things! I don't want to water it down, or take rights away! Why do you?


Silverfiddle said...

Jersey, you don't have to add anything. The commerce clause is so capacious there is no action that does not fit!

The penumbra blocks the sun, thanks to progressive freedom-haters and acquiescent judges like Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Jersey McJones said...


Our Founders knew well the dangers of autocracy. They also, of course, knew full well the dangers of feudalism.

We can not revert to the Middle Ages. There are plenty of stupid programs out there, but it's a lot better than having none. Be careful what you wish for.


Karen Howes said...

Hear, hear, Silverfiddle. Nothing wastes money like the gubmint.

But if Reagan couldn't even manage to get rid of the then-small Dept. of Education, I don't know if downsizing the gov't is realistic...

Silverfiddle said...

@Jersey. Stupid programs are better than no programs?

That is precisely the thinking that got us in this mess.

Happy Friday.

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