Government: Just a Word for Lines We Stand In Together

Yep, the bigger we make government and the more power we give it, the better – via Hot Air:

The number of veterans seeking health care but ending up on waiting lists of one month or more is 50 percent higher now than it was a year ago when a scandal over false records and long wait times wracked the Department of Veterans Affairs, The New York Times reported. The VA also faces a budget shortfall of nearly $3 billion, the Times reported in a story posted online ahead of its Sunday editions. The agency is considering furloughs, hiring freezes and other significant moves to reduce the gap, the newspaper reported. In the last year, the VA has increased capacity by more than 7 million patient visits per year, double what officials originally thought they needed to fix shortcomings, the Times reported. However, the newspaper added, department officials did not anticipate just how much physician workloads and demand from veterans would continue to soar. At some major veterans hospitals, demand was up by one-fifth, the paper reported.

Our Big Government liberals will naturally call for more money and more bureaucrats. They will never understand that the primary purpose of government, as conducted by its officials, is to increase the power and wealth of government. Even when we restrict government to its most narrow, constitutionally-mandated powers, those in it will still be seeking after themselves, first – and the people, at best, a distant second in their concerns. It is just the way things are. People are like that. A bureaucrat has a choice in how to spend his day: vigorously working for the people (for which he will get no additional pay or benefits), or vigorously working the system to benefit himself. Guess which way things go? And this is true even if a majority of the bureaucrats are selfless – it only takes a few in the mix who are self-serving to ensure the whole system is screwed up.

The bigger the government gets the less capable it will be in doing what we want it to do. You see it, yourself, every day – schools that don’t teach; roads that are in disrepair, etc. We’re spending vastly more – in real dollars and per capita – on all things government than we ever were and things just keep getting worse. More run down, more difficult to accomplish, more lengthy in process, more expensive in the end. We need to spend a decade repealing laws and cutting down the size of government just to get to a point where the human mind can start to comprehend the scope of it and decide what to do.

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Fear Not, Americans: The Raisin Administrative Committee is on the Job!

Thank goodness for Big Government!

Long-time California raisin farmers Marvin and Laura Horne have been forced to experience firsthand the costs that America’s regulatory state imposes on entrepreneurs, especially innovative members of the agriculture industry.

No longer do farmers enjoy the ancient right to sell their produce and enjoy the fruits of their labor.  Indeed, Horne v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture exemplifies the extent to which all property and business owners are made to suffer a needless, Rube Goldberg-style litigation process to vindicate their constitutional rights.

In this case, the USDA imposed on the Hornes a “marketing order” demanding that they turn over 47% of their crop without compensation.  The order—a much-criticized New Deal relic—forces raisin “handlers” to reserve a certain percentage of their crop “for the account” of the government-backed Raisin Administrative Committee, enabling the government to control the supply and price of raisins on the market.  The RAC then either sells the raisins or simply gives them away to noncompetitive markets—such as federal agencies, charities, and foreign governments—with the proceeds going toward the RAC’s administration costs…

I mean, my goodness, that was a close shave!  Imagine if we lived in a world where raisin growers could grow as many raisins as they wish and sell it for whatever price they want!  Utter chaos would certainly ensue.  There would be an unregulated market out there – and such things have been known to put an eye out when in the hands of irresponsible people – you know, citizens.  But we’re safe from all that – there are plenty of wonderful government regulators in the Raisin Administrative Committee on the job to protect us from ourselves.  And better than that, some of the Horne’s fellow raisin growers – clearly from altruistic reasons; couldn’t possibly be out of a desire to limit competition – are entirely on the government’s side here…protecting us from having to make our own choices!  After all, we know that there are only two valid choices a human being – unsupervised by government – can make:  to have an abortion and to have sex.

All kidding aside, this is what Big Government is all about – and the fact that some of the Horne’s (allegedly) private sector competitors are on the government’s side illustrates what I mean about a Big Government/Big Corporation alliance to suppress the people.  The United States is simply awash in bodies like the RAC and various administrative authorities – essentially unsupervised by anyone; do you want to bet that Obama and the entirety of Congress are completely ignorant of this case? – ruling over people who are doing nothing other than what people do.  In this case, a couple raisin growers are just growing raisins – a wanted and needed crop and if they can grow more and better than other people, then they deserve to prosper…but Uncle Sam (and their competitors) say, “no”…you can’t do better than others.  If you do, then you must surrender what your hard work has produced so that we can make things all fair and square with those who aren’t as successful as you.

This is the battle we need to fight – the fight for a free market, opportunity society.  This is how we can build a 60% majority – by fighting for the real rights of the American people.

UPDATE:  Details on the RAC:

The Raisin Administrative Committee is comprised of 35 members representing producers; 10 members representing handlers of varying sizes; 1 member representing the Raisin Bargaining Association (RBA); and 1 public member. Members serve 2-year terms of office that begin on May 1. Producer and handler members are nominated at meetings and by mail ballots.

Meetings and mail ballots?  Oh, that sounds like it can’t possibly become an old-boys network which works to protect those most juiced in with government.

There is a list of government agencies, but it doesn’t even begin to cover it all; the RAC is not listed…it is part of the FDA and Lord only knows how many similar bodies are covered by the FDA and all other Departments of government.  Someone needs to get us a genuine list of all agencies – and a one paragraph description of what they do.

 

Obamunism! Killing Green Jobs

From Investor’s Business Daily:

President Obama’s green jobs agenda has become a victim of its own red tape. Several internal reports show that state-level projects have stalled for years due to federal regulations favored by labor and green groups — big boosters of the green jobs push…

This is what you get when you attempt a Big Government solution – parts of the Big Government will work against other parts of it.  Remember, it is only average Americans who want jobs…for the union officials, government bureaucrats and liberal activist groups, the agenda is quite different.  The unions, naturally, want to ensure that all the money only goes to union-approved (and thus over-priced) contractors.  Government bureaucrats want to ensure that the money only goes to contractors who donate the right way.  Liberal pressure groups – in this case, environmentalists – want to ensure that they get a cut of the pie, even if they bring nothing to the table.

The thing we can never get our liberals to understand is that government can never get it right.  Even in the areas where government is supposed to have the authority (law enforcement and national defense) the government gets it wrong.  For all the splendid people in the military and law enforcement, which of us couldn’t in five minutes search find a score of examples of corruption and incompetence in both areas?  And the people in the military and law enforcement are leavened by a those who actually have a selfless dedication to duty…for government agencies without that esprit d’corps, it becomes one gigantic mess.  Think about it – in the Army you’ll find a large number of people who will leap on a grenade to save their friends…how many people at the Department of Energy do you think would do that?  And so how many people at Energy are really willing to sacrifice their own careers in order to advance the the prosperity of those they don’t know and will never meet?

When you put government in charge of trying to make things work you are putting the job in the hands of people who are most likely to fail.  They are not spending their own money, they are not going to put their own future on the line…their prime motivation is to ensure the least amount of work for the highest amount of pay, ending up with a fat pension when they are still relatively young.  That anyone ever thought that the government could lead the way in switching us to a “green” economy demonstrates that we’ll never lack for stupidity.

Scrap it; provide tax incentives to those private enterprises who are investing in green technology and just let the natural development of the economy take it the rest of the way.  There won’t be anything in there to provide fat contracts, cushy jobs and opportunities for graft, but we’ll eventually get a green economy…

Buffett’s Obama Bail Out

Why  did Buffett buy $5 billion of Bank of America stock? Mish suggests that Buffett was just trying to energize financial stocks, in general, as he’s up to the gills in them and puffing them up would allow him to unload all other financials before they go “poof”. That could be it, but I think there was more going on.

Warren Buffett’s most prestigious investment these day is President Obama.  If Bank of America had failed – and it is still “one foot in the grave, other on a banana peel” – then it would likely have served as the trigger for a general financial collapse…begin Great Depression II, end of any chance for Obama’s re-election.  While this would have hit Buffett hard financially there is still the fact that if you’re worth $45 billion and lose $10 billion, you’ve still got $35 billion left.  Buffett remains rich no matter what – ego is involved here.

Buffett has specially bought in to what Obama stands for…his image of himself stands or falls with the success of Big Government liberalism.  Buffett told us that Obama was The One; Buffett tells us that if we’ll just tax and spend some more all will be made well; Buffett tells us that it is us knuckle-dragging conservatives who got it wrong.  But if Obama fails, then Buffett got it massively wrong.  Buffett is not about to be proved wrong by a bunch of bitter-clinger adherents of that worn out, has-been Constitution!

It won’t work – Buffett has seemed like a savvy businessman because he’s piled up huge amounts of cash by milking the Big Government, fiat-money, usury-based economy for all its worth.  That economic model, though, has now gone on as long as it can.  We’re bankrupt; there is simply no more money to borrow, any more printing will just touch off ruinous inflation…its all done gone up the spout, as it were.  Buffett may think that if he throws around a few billion it will change the dynamic…all it will do is delay the inevitable, and not by nearly as much as all of Bernanke’s trillions in fake money.  Not only is Buffett about to be proved wrong, he’s also going to be proved a bad businessman…someone who can only make it in a ponzeconomy, but has no relevance to one based on hard work, thrift and careful investment.

UPDATE:  Buffett is also relentlessly avoiding taxes…this report shows that he’s arguing with the IRS over taxes unpaid since at least 2002.  Yeah, he really wants to pay more…

The Big Government Failure – California Edition

From Bloomberg:

California faces “drastic” cuts to universities, schools and social programs if revenue continues to trail budget forecasts, the state controller said after July collections fell short by about 10 percent.

A series of “triggers” written into the most-populous state’s $86 billion general-fund budget would cut spending on universities, home care for seniors and the disabled, libraries and other programs if revenue falls $1 billion short of plan. A $2 billion gap would mean a seven-day cut in the school year and an end to busing subsidies…

The reason I bring this up is to point out that Big Government always gets it wrong.  When faced with having to cut spending or pretending that enough money will come in, Big Government will invariably opt for pretending…or, lying, if you want to be strictly accurate.  We here in Nevada have the same problem – though on a much smaller scale – where our budget was “balanced” because we’re pretending that we’ll have a big increase in revenues (anyone driving around Las Vegas can see that we’ll be lucky if revenues don’t crash through the floor…things are just lousy out here, and Las Vegas accounts for the majority of Nevada’s revenues).  We also have this problem – on a much larger scale – nationally, where our recent budget deal was predicated upon projections of revenue which are laughably optimistic (remember, official projections are based upon official data which indicates we are officially in economic recovery mode).  This means that, just like California, we can expect revenues to fall short of what we predict, and thus we’ll have a larger deficit than expected.

The dishonesty of Big Government is endemic – there is nothing it can do but lie because the basic concept is false.  You can’t make the majority – or even a large minority – of people happy, free, safe and prosperous if you are trying to do it by government action.  You can certainly enrich a Ruling Class of politicians and their crony-capitalists, but you can’t do anything worthwhile for most of the people.

This is because no government, no matter how well disposed, can ever figure out what people need, nor what people want.  Government can play a role in assisting people who have determined, on the local level, what they need but they can’t command results from on high.  There just isn’t – and never can be – sufficient knowledge for such results.  The lies we see in the budgeting process are just one part of it…you can also see it every time some Big Government booster speaks of a grand plan.  Remember, we have a Department of Education because our education was bad in the 70’s and the Department was supposed to figure out what education needed and wanted and fix everything up.  How has that worked out?   Just apply that same standard to all Big Government activities and you’ll get the same result.

Dismantling the beast of Big Government is a necessity – it is the only way we can restore freedom and prosperity in our nation.  And the sooner we get at it, the better.