Congress: It’s Not Just Big Government, It’s Bad Government

February/18/2009 3:32AM
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Recently, we hear many Americans express concern that the Stimulus Bill means bigger government. Seems like a fair concern. Also, many fear the increased spending will be perpetual since there are no erasers in our government. Once spending is there, it’s there forever. We are seeing that in states that are going broke and can’t cut spending and are trying to raise taxes in a recession. California, for one.

Very few are describing our real fear of bigger government. Some equate it to Socialism. I believe Americans are numb to the idea that it’s bad government we fear and that is why we know in our hearts that more means more bad government. In my lifetime, my government has rarely gotten much right. Seems like putting a man on the moon was our high point.

Why do we tolerate bad government? We have resigned ourselves to the belief we don’t have a choice.

Let’s just look at two simple examples.

First, there’s the go digital TV plan. Today’s the day your TV goes black if you don’t have digital or the converter. It’s been advertised for years. Wait, congress changed the deadline. It’s now June 17th. Why? They ran out of coupons for the $40 discount on the boxes that cost between $40-80. That’s right. All those public service announcements, and all that free advertising from the stations, and despite four years to plan, congress screwed it up and they changed the deadline. But, some stations are going ahead with the plan. So, you have stations holding, stations broadcasting in both–a huge power cost, and others staying on plan. This is a classic example of bad government. But, no outrage. Of course on June 17th there will be an outrage. People who live in caves with TV’s without cable or converter will be really mad. These are the people who get the government’s attention today. Not the mainstream majority who paid attention, made adjustments, and got damned tired of 10 public service announcements every day. 

Next, let’s look at Roland Burris. Rod Blagojevich, the poster boy for bad government, has embarrassed the entire senate. He named Burris to take Obama’s Illinois Senate seat knowing full well that he was dirty. Then he watched Burris perjure himself in sworn testimonies. He watch Harry Reid vow that  any appointment by Blagojevich would not be seated. Blagojevich knew the Congressional Black Caucus  would prevail over Reid and even then president-elect Obama who also said no way to any Blagojevich appointment. At the same time Caroline Kennedy was coming unraveled in New York. So, Blagojevich now watches as the senate tries to fix another problem that never should have existed. Had Reid stuck to his guns, he would not be dealing with Burris.

How much more bad government do we take? This is why the thought of making government bigger sends shivers down our spines. This is why giving them more control makes no sense. Watching members of congress who screw up everything they touch dress down businessman after businessman for screwing up is the height of hypocrisy. 

Let’s first fix bad government, then decide whether to make it bigger or smaller. 

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