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General News and Politics
By Jim Barber, Camp Verde, Arizona
Current news and political discussion
Sunday, June 16, 2013


 The Barbershop

Recent polling shows that 68% of American voters now believe that our government is out of control, with only 26% (roughly the hardcore left wing of the Democrat party) believing it is doing a good job. These same polls are showing a sharp increase in the approval rate for "Tea Party" type organizations. The reason, of course, is that the Tea Party types, which include conservatives, liberals and independents, have been preaching this viewpoint since their inception. Now that the Obama administration is hip-deep in ongoing scandals (which started occurring early on in his presidency with a record-breaking 3 running concurrently at this time), voters are starting to realize that those advocates of smaller government were right. In fact, they have been vindicated by the Obama administration itself, which is claiming immunity from responsibility for the scandals with the charge that the government is so large that the president couldn't possibly know that his subordinates were screwing up. If that isn't an endorsement for reducing the size and scope of government, what is?

Government, by definition, is inefficient, since it is run by committee, of whose members are not required to have expertise in any field other than campaigning. It therefore stands to reason that enormous government is enormously inefficient. The natural inclination of government is growth - and not just in relation to the growth of the country. Government departments gain power and influence simply by expanding their own size. As government grows it also becomes less tolerant of those who object to the way it operates and resorts to suppressive regulation and intimidation as a means of holding on to, consolidating, and further increasing its power. This is why the framers of our Constitution were wary of a large federal government and left the vast majority of power to the states. Unfortunately, year after year, either through laziness of the public, inattention of voters or the greed of getting something "for free", the states have, incrementally, surrendered that gift given by the Constitution.

In a report prepared by Wayne Crews, of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, in the year 2012 the Code of Federal Regulation reached an all time high of 174,545 pages - an increase of 21% in the last decade. It is humanly impossible for any entity to manage - or even understand - such complexity. If you have ever called the IRS more than once with a question, odds are that you got a different opinion each time you called. Many regulations from one department to the next are at cross-purposes, incomprehensible, and defy compliance. But a regulatory agency must regulate or risk its relevancy. A look at suggested regulations (which were mercifully rejected) within OSHA, for instance, reveals submissions to regulate the height of ladders to prevent injuries from falling, or requiring mop buckets to have a hole in the bottom to prevent children from drowning in unattended buckets. Using government data, Crews "estimates that in 2012 the cost of federal rules exceeded $1.8 trillion, roughly equal to the gross domestic product of Canada." This is stifling to our economy, both to existing business and by discouraging entrepreneurs who would start new companies.

Most dangerous, however, is the use of the complexity of government to deny us our freedom of speech or the right to fair but equal treatment under the laws. The targeting of conservative groups, other groups that simply protest any government action, or the targeting of individuals who speak out or donate to the oppositional groups or candidates, is a natural consequence of the undue power of those in charge. A public demand for a reduction in the size of government is not going to be eagerly adhered to by those whose positions will be adversely affected. The only thing more powerful than such governmental elitism is an informed electorate. Maybe we have reached an "Aha!" moment.

Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2013
Article comment by: Bob Loblaw

Let's not forget the Republican led Congress' approval rating of 10%. (roughly the hardcore right wing of the Republican party)

The poll placed Congress dead last among 16 institutions in a survey that included banks, the U.S. Supreme Court and the presidency!

That's surely something the T-Party Republicans can be proud of! Hahahahahaha..

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