Senator Tom Coburn in a recent speech summarized succinctly what has gone terribly wrong with out Federal Government. And much of it has occurred in the last four years. This is worth a moment of your time to read and reflect upon.
It is a time for Americans who have never been involved in the political arena, in our Nation, to get involved because the future of your children and your children’s children depends on it. We have a very short window within which to recapture the economic renaissance in our country, and it is less than 4 years. If you look at what we are coming to in terms of debt-to-GDP ratio and in terms of the size of the government to the size of the GDP, we will be on an irreversible course that will eliminate American exceptionalism forever because the thing that made us free and kept us free was a fairly limited Federal Government. What we have in front of us is an attempt not to get it back down to a size that is manageable and within the intent of our Founders’ vision and the American people’s expectation; we have an intent to grow. The discretionary budget of the Federal Government, on the rate that has been passed by this body the last 2 years alone, not counting the stimulus, will cause the Federal Government to double in size in 5 years. We are 40 percent bigger than we were 2 years ago; actually, it is 38.6 percent bigger. We hear the average Federal employee now makes $72,000 and the average private employee now makes $40,000. We have added 170,000 new jobs in the government in the last 7 months, while we have lost three times that in the private sector. Things are out of whack. The only way they are going to change is if the American public demands it to be changed.
To put it in further perspective, if you are a member of a 4-person family, your family’s share of the $3.5 Trillion Federal Budget in 2010 was about $45,000, of which $20,000 will have to be paid by your children and grandchildren. Does that make sense to you? Is the “government service” worth the cost?
As citizens we need to challenge ourselves with a simple test: list on a piece of paper all of the services of the Federal Government that you benefit from and appreciate. Then total up the tax money you pay out to the Federal Government, the aggravation you experience from the bureaucracy and the enforcement activities of the government. Do you personally get your money’s worth out of your taxes and aggravation?
Here’s a list of Federal agencies for you to appreciate. Don’t just select an agency, say Education and say “Well, I’m all for education, so that must be worthwhile.” You must specify exactly and explicitly what the vast Department of Education is doing for you personally. If you say, well it gives money to our local school, then the questions have to be: what is that money spent for that benefits me, and why does that money have to be routed through the Federal bureaucracy that skims off millions to support lazy bureaucrats.
Illustration from Obama’s 2010 Federal Budget Explained in Plain English
I would wager that your list of “benefits” starts with national parks and federal highways, might include food safety inspections, and if you’re big hearted even national defense. If you look at the Federal Budget (and believe it to be honest) you’ll discover that a minuscule fraction of the total budget goes to the “services” or “benefits” that you can actually identify, know about and appreciate. For example, National Parks ($2.7 Billion) accounts for only 21% of the Interior Department’s $13 Billion budget, and Highway Construction and Maintenance (negative $263 Million) represents 0% of the Department of Transportation’s mammoth $75 Billion budget. So where does the rest of this money go? If it doesn’t benefit you, then why is it being collected and spent?