Sometimes I get in a mood. If I wander it’s because there are a few things I’d like to address. Is it possible to get a responsible, sane federal government? Do voters understand the absurd programs elected officials create and throw billions of dollars at? There’s a non-profit called American Transparency that tracks the wasteful spending by the government. On their website, openthebooks.com, there’s a quote from a Scottish professor of history, Alexander Fraser, who wrote in 1887:
“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. Democracy will continue to exist until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”
Unfortunately, Fraser described the last 90 years of our republic. In the last presidential election a large bloc of voters, who each owe thousands of dollars on student loans, were promised loan forgiveness by Joe Biden if he was elected. Did that “buy” him some votes? Of course. Never mind that the government has no business being in the college loan business. Never mind that universities flush with student loan cash, have increased non-teaching/administrative personnel while also increasing tuition every year for 50 years. Somehow college became what every American must do and the stupid, corrupt federal government had to get involved. I know plumbers and electricians who make an easy six figures with time off. No college. They have no wish to pay for some kid’s college party years any more than the guy or gal working at the supermarket does.
Speaking of education, the U.S. Department of Education began operation on May 4, 1980. It currently has 4400 employees with a projected 2023 budget of $88.3 billion. That’s actually small for a federal bureaucracy but I worry more about the damage it inflicts. As far as I can tell the (so far) 43-year mission of this abomination has been to make our kids illiterate and dependent on mommy, daddy and the federal government. Mission accomplished. Anyone who thinks K-12 education has improved because of the Department of Education must have a degree in education.
Also on American Transparency’s website were more spending tidbits such as; did you know that Joe Biden has the largest White House staff in history (500 staffers, 100 more than Trump) with a payroll of over $100 million? Congress gave Harvard $75,000 to “blow lizards off trees with leaf blowers. There were nearly $300 million in mistaken or improper payments by the 20 largest federal agencies. Idiot politicians contributed $500,000 of taxpayers’ debt to douse male monkeys with female hormones to turn them transgender. Another $3.7 billion in Covid-related economic stimulus payments were made to dead people.
Meanwhile the infrastructure is crumbling as roads, bridges and parks have been neglected for decades. I recall when Republicans bragged about doing away with earmarks. The pork-laden $1.7 trillion Omnibus bill had $1.6 billion in earmarks. Many pet projects of these partisan, lobbied porkers were financed in this bloated disgrace. This was a bipartisan effort that continued the trend of outspending tax revenues—which also increase every year. The Republicans talk about fiscal austerity but they love spending and pork—they just fry it instead of grilling it like the Democrats do.
My least favorite politicians sit in the Senate and Congress. Our country needs term limits on these scoundrels. The very idea that they get a retirement annuity should nauseate everyone. Professional politicians are tin-eared as to how the country they run functions. They’re far removed from public life and the fact that they can’t balance a budget shows that basic spending discipline is an art they know nothing about. Today’s Ivy League grad career politicians start off kissing an existing politician or judge’s ass as an aide or clerk and never experience working a real job. The only way to rid ourselves of career politicians is to force them out with term limits. If you profile some of these “public servants,” you notice, as my wife Mary points out, they only leave office in a box. That’s too long. Give Senators two terms equaling 12 years and House members six terms also equaling 12 years with a modest pension.
Having served a short hitch in the military I appreciate the need for defense. What I don’t appreciate is the absurd spending by our Department of Defense. I also don’t like all the generals working for defense contractors after they leave the military. Dwight Eisenhower warned of the Military Industrial Complex as he left the Oval Office and it wasn’t long after his warning that Vietnam blew up. Those of my generation who didn’t get a “deferment” were drafted and sent over to fight commies. That LBJ/Robert McNamara goat fuck made a lot of money for the defense industry at the cost of 35,000 American lives. There was no strategy except keep sending guys over and spend big. Today the budget for the Department of Defense is $886 billion. Last year it was a mere $877 billion, compared to China ($292B), Russia ($86B), India ($81B) and Saudi Arabia ($75B). Could there be any corruption there? When you consider the trillions of dollars lost or “misplaced” last year, I’d say yes. According to thepoliticalinsider.com, in 2022 the Department of Defense failed its audit for the fifth year in a row In dollars, “only 39% of the $3.5 trillion in assets were accountable leaving a deficit of $2.2 trillion in assets unaccounted for. That’s thievery. Money was spent on things that never arrived while former generals and defense contractor executives took home millions. Or maybe they sell assets on the black market?