Wednesday, May 19, 2010

US Government Galore

Whether big government is bad and small government is good is not the question. As things go from bad to worse in the US, there is a desperation for either size – just install one that can function without self implosion. The GW Bush/Obama prototypes both managed to create bigger problems as they remained in office.

If you determine the size of government by the amount of debt incurred and expenditures beyond income, both GW Bush and Obama built giant edifices. If you determine the size of government by the number of people paid by the government, both presidents sustained the Iraq and Afghan wars with thousands of military and contract mercenaries; in this connection they bought weapons and war material from the industrial military complex that added more spent billions, feeding big government.

By these definitions both are big government presidents. So when the conservatives yearn for small government, it is uncertain on what model they base their aspirations. As long as there are colonial wars, big government is here to stay no matter how you define it.

When you accept the big government versus small government mythology, it automatically follows that lots of regulation comes with the BIG and much less with SMALL. This is baloney. Historically regulation follows Democrats and minimal controls are pushed by Republicans. Although President Clinton did confound this generalization with laissez faire mortgage standards which was the basis for a future fiscal disaster.

Crude oil furiously pouring from a broken pipe in the Gulf from a BP oil catastrophe is developing into a nightmarish bureaucratic showcase linking government and private corruption with ineptitude. Government agencies failed to monitor private oil drilling as the oil company, avoiding safety measures, carelessly cut corners that led to the disaster.

Neither party's government could accomplish the basic task of defending US borders to insure the integrity of the US in the face of irredentist Mexicans. Democrats need Latino support to win elections; Republicans, supporting big business and agro-industries, need low paid Latinos to remain cozy with their major campaign contributors; in either case, it has nothing to do with the size of government, but everything to do with political opportunism.

Right now there are trillions of dollars of federal debt, but no way to repay it. Democrats have the reputation of tax and spend while the Republicans just spend. So in either case, both approaches deepen the fiscal problems. The size of government expands as its responsibilities are broadened; as long as the wars continue, and TARPS/Stimulus imposed, the US is locked into an increasing debt spiral.

President Clinton, as a silver bullet, has recently advocated the value added tax (VAT) in addition to the income tax. More taxes proposed by Democratic leadership plays to profile. Try ending the wars first, because when the VAT comes, it will not be repealed, especially once the collection mechanism is in place. Note, this tax has not balanced the books in Socialist Europe and it has been in effect for years.

Big government galore will be in the US as far as the eye can see. Fretting over the proposition will not change it, but an economic crash or political disaster might... Are you ready to roll the dice? Colonial Robert E Bartos


Anonymous PIZZABOY said...

"Whose game was empires and whose stakes were thrones,
Whose tables earth, whose dice were human bones."

Spot on col. as usual.



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