Friday, January 29, 2010

If you want small government, stop taking the bribes

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
Matt 7:3

I try to keep that in mind. You'd be amazed how often it comes into play when you're paying attention.

For example, I think a lot of us are thinking a lot about the size of our government, and how much it costs. My own company loses quite literally half its profit to Uncle Sam. Congress wants more. Half's a lot. We could use part of that to hire more people, expand our product line and become more profitable, thus generate more taxable revenue.

I got sick looking at the money pouring through government jobs. Lavish retirements, brand new equipment beyond the needs of the people sporting it, comp time running into the months. It's enough to make anyone in the private sector choke.

Then I started thinking about me. And people like me.

"You can't cut the budget on Parks and Rec. We use those." "Don't cut Library funding; how would I get along with the library?" "You can't cut Education! We need our schools!" "I can't imagine our country without the Arts." "I'm where I am today thanks to government grants."

Government surplus fuels a dizzying array of odds and ends markets in everything from boots to laptops to houses (to say nothing of criminal seizures), grant programs will pay your ride through college for being part Indian, left handed, or good at duck calling.

My wife and I have been repeatedly urged to sign up for government assistance programs that we don't need, like WIC and Foodstamps, which tells me that plenty of folks are, ah, subsidizing their grocery budget.

How many of us bought a Digital Signal Converter on a federal chit? How many of us sent back those Federal Stimulus checks?

We are as much the reason the federal government feels obligated to spend into more zeros than most of us knew existed. Before any of us can truly rail on about the size of the Fed, we should first examine how much of it we're willing to release.

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