One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
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A computer programming maxim is “Garbage in – garbage out.”
(C)omputers, since they operate by logical processes, will unquestioningly process unintended, even nonsensical, input data (“garbage in”) and produce undesired, often nonsensical, output (“garbage out”).
No one or nothing produces more garbage than government. And their trash has nowhere to go except all over the private sector – us.
The federal government alone spends almost $4 trillion a year – that is a LOT of garbage. Hundreds of billions of that is borrowed, which is debt and interest for which We the People are responsible – more garbage. Then there’s what they do with so much of that money – create ever more regulations. More garbage.
Every year – almost $4 trillion more spent, hundreds of billions more in borrowing and interest, and tens of thousands of pages of new regulations created. Piled on top of what they’ve already piled on top of us. To wit:
- Combined with $3.454 trillion in federal spending, Washington’s share of the economy now reaches 31 percent.
- Costs for Americans to comply with federal regulations reached $1.863 trillion in 2013. That is more than the GDPs of Canada or Australia.
- This is the 21st edition of Ten Thousand Commandments. In that time, 87,282 final rules have been issued. That’s more than 3,500 per year – or about nine per day.
And as we know, the Barack Obama Administration is this dumbness – on steroids.
This year – is only half over.
We are completely smothered – unable to breathe, let alone move. Buried under a sky-high pile of steaming, stinking government.
Then the bureaucrats look at us and say “Okay – start producing. We have the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) waiting to excruciatingly over-tax your output.”
After all that garbage in – why are we surprised when we get garbage out?
Bizarrely, the government then – after inflicting so much damage – subsidizes many who can’t successfully emerge from their garbage dump. The utter inanity of which the late, inordinately great Ronald Reagan crystallized.
Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
The George W. Bush and Obama Administrations ushered in a new, even larger Age of Bailouts.
The 2008 global economic collapse was caused just about entirely by government. Banks were forced for decades to make hundreds of thousands of home loans to people everyone knew couldn’t pay them back. The bad papers mounted and mounted – and when the market teetered ever so slightly, the Everest of government garbage avalanched down and buried the planet.
Our government’s response – was to cut checks for hundreds of billions of dollars to the institutions they forced to make the loans.
Getting mad at the banks is like shooting someone – and then getting mad at them for bleeding on you. This was entirely government’s fault.
And lest we forget – government subsidies also go to indirect victims. Government regulates the daylight out of job creators – crushing their ability to create jobs. Then writes checks – welfare, food stamps, etc. – to people who can’t find work.
Only those steadfastly ideological and impervious to facts think continuing this garbage-in-garbage-out insanity is a good idea.
The late, inordinately great Will Rogers said “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” The converse is just as true: If you find you have completely buried something – stop shoveling.
We Less Government types rightly work to shrink government in all directions. Methinks we will be much more effective if we work on undoing tandem-government-damage – the causes and effects.
It’s always better when working to end government “help” – to offer solutions to the problems. The government is all too often the cause that begets the effect. The solution to too much government isn’t more government – it’s less.
We want to minimize as much as possible the government-money-for-nothing welfare state. We should simultaneously point out and work to minimize the government regulations that made it oh-so-much-harder for these people to get jobs.
We want to end government bailouts. We should simultaneously point out and work to minimize the government regulations that caused these calamitous situations.
There’s an old joke:
A guy is in his car on a one-lane, no-pass country road, stuck behind a county government truck.
Every fifty yards the truck stops, and two guys jump out. On the side of the road, one guy digs a hole – and the other guy fills it up. Fifty yards later, same thing – over and over.
Fed up, the guy in the car drives around the truck, pulls up to the driver and demands “What on Earth are you guys doing?”
The driver replies “The guy who plants the trees called in sick.”
This exquisitely epitomizes the government regulations-bailouts cycle.
We are the guy who plants the trees. We’re sick, all right.
To end the government digging out – we must also end the government shoveling us under.