Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Starving the Federal Beast - Where and How to Begin

While perusing the Interwebs this morning, I ran across two articles I'd like to bring to your attention. The first post is from Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe, the chairman and president of Freedomworks, What Congress Should Cut over at WSJ Online. The second post comes from Chris Gacek at Fox entitled How Conservatives Can Limit the Scope and Size of Government.

There can be no doubt that the Federal government has grown out of control. For a long while, the costs of compliance incurred by private sector business was passed along to the consumer, meaning you and I. However, the market can only bear so much. Today's profit margins are so slim that we are in real danger of legislating ourselves out of the market altogether, as a growing bureaucracy threatens to suck the remaining life from our economy.

We are just now awakening to the negative effects of too much government intrusion into our economy. Last Novembers' elections were the first grumpy responses to the alarm clock. We've been hitting the snooze button for a generation. While we search for the coffee cup in our national quest to fully wake up, we need to start looking at what to do to get an increasingly nosey government out of our business.

Of course, we could start just about anywhere. Four years of prog control of Congress now has us facing the dim prospect of high unemployment and a stagnant economy for the next ten years or so. This need not happen. Common sense tells us that the best solution is to get the economy going again. Any effort to reduce the intrusion of government will reap rewards in the marketplace.

Armey and Kibbe give us a good place to start. Their first proposal is to immediately return to spending levels prior to the 2007 takeover of Congress by Nancy Pelosi and her Merry Band of Economy Killers. This move would save us $374B. Repealing the individual mandate of ObamaCare would result in an additional $252B. Just two simple moves to reverse the damage of Pelosi's Reign of Progressive Economic Terror saves us over half a trillion dollars.

A trillion here and a trillion there, soon we're talking real money.

Gacek takes a more legalistic look at what will be required to pare our oversized government back down to a manageable size. His premise (and I truly hope this Chris is a he-Chris, if not, my apologies in advance) is to cut the head of the snake by repealing the laws that power government agencies such as the Department of Education,

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1965); Higher Education Act of 1965; Education for All Handicapped Children Act (1975); Equal Access Act (1984); No Child Left Behind Act (2001); the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004); and, Race to the Top (2009). Each one of these laws permits the lawyers amongst those 4,200 DoE employees to write regulations that have the force of law.

My personal favorites would be the repeal of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. Now, before the radical environmentalists start screeching that I want us all to breathe dirty air and drink dirty water, I'll tell you that these are responsibilities best left to the individual states, not Washington. Common sense, folks, common sense.

I'm sure that you, gentle readers, can come up with a few agencies that you would like to see dismantled. In fact, this would be a fun game at your next cocktail party or family picnic. Try to find one tangible benefit that comes from a large government program. Naturally, you'll need to exclude any lawyers from that game due to the obvious conflict of interest.

I'll even help get you started. Why and in what way is the ban on incandescent light bulbs directly making your life better? Is it the higher cost of CFL bulbs? The eight pages of directions for safely disposing of a broken CFL bulb? How about the mercury vapor released when one breaks that requires the room be vacated for thirty minutes? What about all the American jobs that were eliminated and are now in China as a result of this ban?

See what fun you can have.

In the mean time, as they say in the blogs, read it all.

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