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