Should we throw more money at the government?

Published 12:03am Sunday, February 19, 2012

After much consideration and study, I must admit I’ve been wrong, wrong for years and years.

My critics can take great solace today, as I’m fessing up.

Curiously, since right about the same time I started paying taxes — and seeing the numbers of tax payments climb — I’ve been of the opinion that government isn’t good at much.

Sure, we need law enforcement, fire protection and some infrastructure oversight. But I’ve been pretty convinced that nearly all of the rest of government’s functions — legislatures, regulatory bureaucracy, etc. — were largely fluff.

Government is the rich kid buffoon in the room that trips over itself.

The infamous saga of the massively expensive hammers and toilet seats the government purchased back in the 1980s is a good reminder of just how buffoon-like the government can be.

But all of that criticism is wrong; I’m here to say. I’ve simply misunderstood the beauty and wisdom of government.

Locally, a prime example was shown last week.

The public doesn’t need to have a say in the long-term use of public lands.

We elected the brilliant members of the board of aldermen and the mayor. That should give them all carte blanche. We should all just shut up and let them do what they feel is best.

Instead we should continue to work hard and give the wonderful machine more and more of our hard-earned money. They will take care of us all. They’ve started to do great things a few years ago with “health care reform.”

I know, I know, it doesn’t seem like health care coverage has improved since, but we’re just not being patient enough.

I know that my insurance premiums have continued to go up, but that’s because the government hasn’t taken over insurance companies yet. As soon as that happens, the good hands people will be safely living in the Capitol.

What a day that will be when the government assumes all aspects of our lives.

Before the people who really know me call to have an intervention, realize, I’m joking.

I’m not a fan of big government.

In fact, I’ve been wondering about whether America actually has the electoral fortitude to make some serious changes in our government.

Clearly, America needs radical changes to stop our ever growing, ever deficit dependent government.

With the level of U.S. debt per U.S. citizen at more than $49,000 or nearly $136,000 per taxpayer, something must change.

Nothing should be off the table, either. Rather than continuing partisan fights, our country needs radical change.

From beginning to curtain massive public pensions to considering how we might reduce general government spending, much needs to be considered.

Though it would be a small drop in the bucket, cutting congress’ pay in half would be a good place to start. With that done, we should do the same thing for our state legislators, too.

Then, with that done, let’s put them back on the same retirement and health care plans as regular folks.

Perhaps when a few of those simple tasks are done, we’ll scare away the fat-cat politicians and elect some folks who are really dedicated, not to lining their own pockets, but to making the fundamental, but necessary changes to get our national, state and local government downsized to something we can afford.

 

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.

 

  • Anonymous

    I’m with you on the last three paragraphs. I would also like to have the welfare system worked over and all the people on it that don’t belong removed. I’m talking about the people that are getting welfare under several identities and the people that are getting assistance using other peoples children. Yes, if they could read, they would know who I mean. Rework the system that gives welfare and other assistance to ILLEGAL aliens. I still for the life of me can’t understand why our politicians don’t know what the word ILLEGAL means.

  • Anonymous

    Finally someone points out what the National Debt will cost the Taxpayers vs the watered down and very misleading “every man, woman, and child”.  “Every man, woman, and child” will never take on the responsibility and burden of the National Debt but rather it will be only the current and future Americans that at actually paying taxes.

    The only way we will ever put even a measly dent in the National Debt is to radically cut spending and with the growing New Cold War it had best not be a lot of the defense cuts we are hearing floated about. 

  • Anonymous

    When congress, local or state governing boards and similar entities realize that balancing a budget as in the other article today does not always mean spending every penny they take in, we will have taken step one. There are a bunch of bad things brewing around the world militarily and economically and, if the US does not get its act together, we won”t be the same nation in the very near term.  A new casino will be the least of our worries.

  • Anonymous

    Except for our open line of credit with the Chinese, the U.S. is not much different from Greece.
    Our government, bloated and inefficient as it is, is also our biggest employer.
    I’m all for smaller govrenment – just as soon as the private sector can absorb all the overpayed, underworked and largely unskilled government employees
    who suddenly left to fend for themselves.  

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    I blame all this crap that the folks put in their comments on the Republican party and Bush for starting unwanted  needless wars, the clapse of the economy of the stock markets, home building loaning companys, more job loss and unemployment and homeless folks, bankrupt companies, banks, wall street stealing life saving retirement from folks!! They have done their best to destroy the working man and the middle class and I feel Obama has turned it around as always in the history of the nation that the Republicans bankrupt the nation and the Democrats have to correct it and get the country back on top again!!!   

  • Anonymous

    GREAT article, Keven…. I find it guite odd, yet the norm, for another to misconstrue the message here. But that always happens doesn’t it?     

  • Anonymous

    Not even close to being in touch with reality…stop drinking the Kool-Aid

  • Anonymous

    Not necessarily, construently speaking. And if you continue to find the quite odd the norm…    

  • Anonymous

    You support the Sheriff quite often, have you seen his new car?  If not, you need to.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    I don’t know him that well but my neighbors and friends knew his family and said he is a fine person! I know that he has put on a neighborhood watch in our neighborhood and him and his lady and men deputies are very professonal. No, I haven’t seen his new vehical and I don’t care if he has a Selby Cobra Mustang as some sheriffs in Yankee land have today from Ohio to Maryland for as long as he gets the bad guys and girls more power to him! I feel he has done a great job with all this bad crime in the city of Natchez as well as the county and I wish him the best!!!!!

    In a message dated 2/21/2012 3:15:04 P.M. Central Standard Time, writes:

    (http://disqus.com/)

    oldsouthgent wrote, in response to khakirat:
    You support the Sheriff quite often, have you seen his new car? If not, you need to.

    _Link to comment_ (http://disq.us/5lbokn?imp=4242f6ef-ec29-44f1-970e-3d9c3816dcb4&thread=581504774&zone=email_notification&event=shortener_click)

  • Anonymous

    Party line similar to Obama philosophy, I got mine and to H with everyone else.  Maybe if the county goes broke with shiny rims, sun roofs, Tahoes, new jails, and more deputies, we will have a self sustaining economy – in the gutter.

  • Anonymous

    Except that Obama added more to the debt than every other president in history combined.

    “wall street stealing life saving retirement from folks!!”

    Please cite one example.  And Bernie Madoff is not “Wall Street”, he is a criminal who ran a Ponzi scheme from his private business.  Perhaps if those folks, mostly rich liberals like Bernie himself, hadn’t been so greedy they would have recognized that the returns he promised just weren’t realistic.  Greed can blind a person, though.

    “They have done their best to destroy the working man and the middle class…”

    Please cite one Republican policy that does this.

    “I feel Obama has turned it around…”

    OK, what did he do to “turn it around”?  You do realize gas is about to hit $4 and our unemployment rate (new claims) is still almost 9%.  Count the people who’ve stopped looking and its closer to 15%.  Houses are still being foreclosed on all over the country.  Three abandoned homes are visible from just my house.  What did he do to “turn it around” again?  Oh yeah, he spent trillions and trillions of dollars that we don’t have.  How’s your Chinese?

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    Obama saved us from a deep depression that would have been world wide also saving the American car mfg. of the nation that were millions of jobs!! That along many other things to help the nation is where all this money was spent without any help from the Republicans which is ashame!!

    In a message dated 2/21/2012 4:11:39 P.M. Central Standard Time, writes:

    (http://disqus.com/)

    Crakalakin wrote, in response to khakirat:
    Except that Obama added more to the debt than every other president in history combined.

    “wall street stealing life saving retirement from folks!!”

    Please cite one example. And Bernie Madoff is not “Wall Street”, he is a criminal who ran a Ponzi scheme from his private business. Perhaps if those folks, mostly rich liberals like Bernie himself, hadn’t been so greedy they would have recognized that the returns he promised just weren’t realistic. Greed can blind a person, though.

    “They have done their best to destroy the working man and the middle
    class…”

    Please cite one Republican policy that does this.

    “I feel Obama has turned it around…”

    OK, what did he do to “turn it around”? You do realize gas is about to
    hit $4 and our unemployment rate (new claims) is still almost 9%. Count the
    people who’ve stopped looking and its closer to 15%. Houses are still
    being foreclosed on all over the country. Three abandoned homes are visible
    from just my house. What did he do to “turn it around” again? Oh yeah, he
    spent trillions and trillions of dollars that we don’t have. How’s your
    Chinese?

    _Link to comment_
    (http://disq.us/5lleax?imp=04678d26-c1f1-4c8b-8b10-bda9a69462af&thread=581504774&zone=email_notification&event=shortener_click)

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    As I always say the sheriff department is the only ones in the county that earn their money!! You got it mixed up the Republicans are the ones that say I’ve got mine and to H with everyone else but that’s okay we all make mistakes??!!

    In a message dated 2/21/2012 3:58:29 P.M. Central Standard Time, writes:

    (http://disqus.com/)

    oldsouthgent wrote, in response to khakirat:
    Party line similar to Obama philosophy, I got mine and to H with everyone else. Maybe if the county goes broke with shiny rims, sun roofs, Tahoes, new jails, and more deputies, we will have a self sustaining economy – in the gutter.

    _Link to comment_ (http://disq.us/5ll32v?imp=f9020cc1-536f-4b67-9166-5265fbf3e935&thread=581504774&zone=email_notification&event=shortener_click)

  • Anonymous

    Step away from the Kool-Aid…you’ve had too much already…

  • Anonymous

    Step away from the Kool-Aid…you’re mixing it too strong and its stunting your cognitive thinking

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    Writing facts and truths -What a Mess!!

    In a message dated 2/21/2012 7:18:16 P.M. Central Standard Time, writes:

    (http://disqus.com/)

    NatchezMS1978 wrote, in response to khakirat:
    Step away from the Kool-Aid…you’ve had too much already…

    _Link to comment_ (http://disq.us/5losym?imp=b0b9ba8b-07e3-4a3a-a1ae-e813c7fee1ea&thread=581504774&zone=email_notification&event=shortener_click)

  • Anonymous

    With all due respect, Mississippi has had a really sweet deal for quitesome time.  In 2005, for every dollar we sent in, we got $2.05 back.  By 2010, that figure had risen to $2.83.  One would think that rather than complaining about throwing more mony at government, we might be considering how we can solve these issues without maitaining our welfare state.  The fact is, Mississipi should begin to carry her own weight before whining about government spending.

  • Anonymous

    The most debt was incurred by FDR during WWII.  When Bush 43 came into office we were running in the black.  When he left, we had $10T in debt.  Now we are at $16.4T.  Bottom line; Bush incurred more debt.  The biggest source of that was running two unnecessesary wars and not just refusing to raise taxes to pay for the wars, but cutting taxes.  Gas prices are going up because of the power vaccuum in the middle east that Iran has filled. Again a result of Bush’s war in Iraq.  Furthermore, Bush failed to lead when it became clear the lending practices and bundling off risky loans could and did cause an economic collapse.  Finally, the stock market dropped 6000 points at the end of 43 causing people’s 401Ks to collapse. 

  • Anonymous

    I could go on with policies the Repulicans under Bush put into place that decimated the middle class, but here is the meat of the matter; economically, unless you’re making over $1M a year, if you’re voting Republican, you’re voting against your best interests. It’s like Joe the Plumber questioning tax policy from a misinformed perspective, and as it turns out, isn’t a plumber will never own that business and isn’t even named Joe.  In an economy like southwest Mississippi’s, people voting Republican is like the chickens voting for Colonel Sanders.

  • Anonymous

    “When Bush 43 came into office we were running in the black.  When he left, we had $10T in debt.  Now we are at $16.4T.  Bottom line; Bush incurred more debt.”
    You are conflating the budget with our national debt and getting the numbers wrong on both.  Now for the actual facts.  When Bush took office the national debt was about $6 trillion.  On this day in 2008, the debt was about $9.5 trillion.  That’s 8 years and $3.5 trillion dollars.  Right now the debt is almost $15.5 trillion.  That’s 4 years and $6 trillion for Obama…so far.

    “Furthermore, Bush failed to lead when it became clear the lending practices and bundling off risky loans could and did cause an economic collapse.”

    Go to YouTube and search for “Fannie and Freddie Hearings” then watch for hours as Republicans try to convince Barney Frank, the ranking finance committee member, that there was no way the housing loan system was going to be solvent.  Watch as Democrat Barney Frank declare over and over through these hearings that all is good up until two weeks before the crash.  Watch as the heads of Fannie and Freddie, Democrats, tell the same lies.  It is all there for you to see if you so choose.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    All people don’t think the same as you and your buddy Kevin!! Wake up and smell the coffee??!!

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