Big Government

Our Ever-Growing Government Is Not Sustainable

(WND)—Progressives have convinced millions that limitless government spending translates into prosperity. They are either unaware or blind to the fact that the government can only take money from the producers and redistribute it to others after taking a hefty slice for themselves. No knowledgeable person would believe otherwise. Government spending is the reverse of a perpetual motion machine; it is more akin to a black hole where money and dreams go to die.

I’ll start with a riddle: What never dies, never sees layoffs, is constantly growing and is rarely held out to be a model of efficiency, inventiveness and thrift? You knew the answer already: our federal government. When I was growing up, my Father told me the government was the employer of last recourse. It is probably not 100% fair, but he was making a point I believe is just as true today as it was then: Working for the government pays better, demands less of your effort and time, and almost guarantees you a cushy job for life. A regimented system draws those who like to feel as if they are protected from the vagaries of life their non-government friends must contend with. You frequently gain a certain arrogance when you work for the government!

Let’s delve a little deeper and call me out on anything that I misstate:

  • The government has grown during good times and bad, with a compound growth rate of 11% over the last 10 years, with continued growth increases projected by the Congressional Budget Office out to infinity and beyond!
  • Working for the federal government puts you at the top of the heap financially, with the average employee, including benefits, making a staggering $146,643 a year.
  • Those federal government benefits are the best anywhere, averaging over $44,000 yearly compared to the private sector at $13,486.
  • Compare the number of days private-sector workers work per year to the federal government, which averages 50 days a year off compared to the private sector at 16 days!
  • When federal employees perform services that the private sector can provide, the cost frequently doubles, triples, or more, and the time to complete is three times longer, according to accredited studies.
  • The term patronage, political, presidential and within government agencies, was invented for government workers. Moving up the ladder and the kind of reviews you receive depend less on performance and more on your connections and acquiescence to the politics (almost exclusively Democrat) that drive the strategy, decisions and implementation of government policy. Statistics reveal that federal employees’ donations to political candidates and unions (as high as 99% sometimes) mostly go to Democrats!
  • Try firing a federal employee. It is frequently difficult, if not impossible, with innumerable third-party reviews and appeals.
  • Ineptitude on display promotes a narrative of incompetence. Harvard Business Review tries to make sense of the negative culture and insular views involved in federal government workplaces.
  • DEI is the newest wrinkle in government efficiency. Now, it threatens our national security. Harvard Business Review takes a dim view of “The Failure of the DEI Industrial Complex.” Is the government willing to back down and mend its ways? No way; who’s going to make them?
  • Why does the government pay more for everything than the private sector? Read what the CATO Institute has to say on this subject.
  • Why do inspectors general stay busy with backlogs stretching into the years, but few employees get fired or go to jail? I spoke with two individuals in both the SBA and State Department Inspector General’s Offices who acknowledged that it takes an average of five years or more for internal investigations and that every case has a political element, especially if the person is of from a protected class, one frustrated individual shared with me.
  • Why do many government programs fail, get canceled, or can’t be accomplished within time and budget constraints? While the degree of failure varies by department and the relative size or duration of a particular acquisition program or purchase contract, the waste in terms of time, money, overhead and opportunity cost are monumental. The Defense Department stands out for special mention, with tens of billions of dollars of waste each year. There are many reasons for this, but overall, the tension between the Defense Department and Congress comes in for the lion’s share of the problems, with program oversight not too far behind. Again, accountability frequently means someone gets transferred or kicked up the ladder, almost never fired. At least, I’ve never heard of anyone getting fired for lack of success or effectiveness.

The answer to the above should give us all the willies and remind us that the government has gotten too big and intrusive. The sheer volume of government employees seeking to justify their existence leads them to intrude profoundly into our everyday lives. How many layers of management exist in government? That’s a tricky issue to nail down. But, read this article, and you will begin to understand that complexity and opaqueness may be a feature and not a defect. When no one knows what’s happening, no one is held accountable, either!

There’s at least one more elephant in the room. Congress knows that not everyone can be a federal employee and that the cost for federal employees is too great. Government efficiency is so poor that they need many more hands and minds than exist on the 2 million-strong federal payroll. So what do they do? They hire contractors by the hundreds of thousands. At least 500,000 people, maybe as many as another million, work for various government departments under contract.

Presidents Biden and Obama have encouraged the rise of government hiring to the nation’s detriment. Never believe that massive government growth is an accident, either. In no way should working for the government be compared to individuals actually delivering services or making things. The government is a drag on our economy and a threat to our safety and security, just as surely as Russia or China. Government diverts scarce resources that could be better used to invest in our economy and to make people less dependent on charity and the whims and vagaries of government policy. At the end of the day, the government only seeks to enrich itself; make no mistake about it.

Eventually, there won’t be enough money to go around. When that day comes, our choices will be stark and unappealing. Getting a handle on the cost of government is something we must do sooner than later.

God bless America.

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