After years and years of following a path set by others, I have thought recently how nice it would be to finally have my say about everything that touches my life. Wouldn’t that be grand? It’s an old saying from my Grandmother’s age, but her definition and the one of today’s world would probably be out of whack. In her day (early 1900’s) they would have thought that having enough food on the table was enough. Her family was pretty industrious and they grew almost everything they ate. There were also not so many needs since the television didn’t announce each and every day why their lives sucked. They went to Church every Sunday and the community was so well-connected, you knew when someone had a sickness of a death in the family. Plus, if the barn burned you could be assured that everyone in the immediate area would show up with hammers and picnic lunches to help rebuild it.
Government was much simpler then too. It cost the American taxpayer $5000.00 per year for their representative in Congress. That cost is deceptive too since there were probably no army’s of aides, no junkets on jet planes, operating costs were considerably smaller and generally, the congress met for much shorter periods and went home more frequently. Wouldn’t it be grand?
In the ensuing years, congress and the government have found more and more ways to regulate things. There isn’t an item in your house (including the internet you are now sharing this information with me on) that isn’t regulated or taxed. Your very life is now controlled or guided in some way by a federal or state regulation whether you think about it or not. Drinking milk? Yep, regulations for that. Coffee? More laws and rules than you can possibly imagine. Going to drive to the market later? You will be wrapped up in the cocoon of your over-loving government (for your own good of course). From the car you drive to the fuel it uses to the safety forced into every vehicle. Someone somewhere thought about your safety and said, “let’s make them do it”. And for that you need a big government.
How big? Well, to start with, the cost of each representative has gone from that $5000 per year (no benefits and no retirement) to a whopping $235,000 plus a generous retirement for life after just five years of service ($60,000.00 per year plus health care and access to insurance you and I can’t get). Last year alone it cost $5.42 billion just to run the house of Representatives. And that cost is deceptive because many of the costs are buried in appropriations bills that both party’s eagerly agree to in the darkness of back rooms.
Spending increases of 70 percent, 80 percent, 100 percent and even 868 percent took hold across major parts of the institution over the past 10 years. Even those that saw the smallest increases went up by almost 40 percent or more.
In contrast, inflation from 2000 to 2010 was 26 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Keep in mind that the same people who get these perks are the ones who vote on them. That’s right, they have the ability to legislate everything from hair color to health care and they are not subject to most of the rules you are. They regulate your 401’s and pension plans, but you have no say in theirs. By forcing more regulations on the workplace, they control your business’s ability to grow while they place no such restrictions on themselves.
You might ask yourself, why is it so expensive to run a country that is so well-regulated? It’s simply because in order to justify their existence and rather large increase in operating costs, they feel an unending need to continue to make up new regulations. Now other people noticed this obsession with regulations too so they banded together with people who had similar needs and they became “lobbyists” or special interest groups. What do you think congress did then? More regulations of course. Rather than banishing the practice altogether and listening to the will of the actual people they represent, they have created warm and comforting regulations which regulate how the lobbyists and special interest groups can influence them . Isn’t that grand? Not to mention that after you have your five years in for your retirement, you can practically rotate right into a lobbying commitment. Yes, it’s a little harder and trickier now, but even if you don’t get picked up by a lobbying group, there are special interest causes that are waiting to prop you up well into your old age.
And what do we get for all this money?
Crushing tax rates that artificially stunt the growth and recovery of our economy. Fannie May and Freddie Mac. Bailouts for bankers. An ill-conceived and overly regulated health care plan that no one truly understood including the people who voted on it. A permanent governing class with little or no connection to the people who elected them. Legions of staffers who work around the clock to make sure that their own jobs are secure.
The communities we once lived in are now just a collection of residences. People have to work two jobs just to keep up and both parents are frequently also forced to work. Churches are falling further and further behind as a center where morality is discussed. The very well-regulated television industry has now become the nanny and opinion maker and each day people are more and more indoctrinated as to what is important and what is not. If you still have a barn, you better pray that it doesn’t burn down. The EPA will probably show up demanding a penalty for releasing some kind of noxious fumes into the air causing a contribution to global warming (remember most of those old barns were painted with RED LEAD PAINT )(GasP)
Wouldn’t it be grand if someone could explain to us why they needed all this money to not solve the real problems we are facing? These same people are now talking about further destroying our national defence and fixing the “too generous” pension program for people who actually have put their lives on the line to defend this great country.