Election 2012: the Growth of Government and how (and why) it must be stopped

Since we’re in the middle of Debate Season, I went back into the archives and found a post which I think may be important to keep in mind. 

Big Government is what we’re really deciding this year. If Obama gets four more years, at this rate it won’t just be Big (or even Bigger) Government, it’ll be Monstrous, Godzilla-sized Government. If Romney wins, and IF we then hold both him and Ryan accountable, …our Federal Government may just get the gastric bypass surgery it so desperately needs, before it eats itself to death. 

The challenge, of course, is government itself. It grows: that’s simply what governments do.

Read this post from earlier this year and let me know if you agree. 

—–

The Inexorable ‘Ratchet of Government’

–by justturnright;   (Published on: Jun 9, 2012 @ 13:01) 

In the Huffington Post several years ago, a pro-health-care blogger posited:

“Change is a math formula: C=Co(SQ)>R(C). The formula reads: Change happens when the cost of the status quo is greater than the risk of change.”

At the time, the author was using this to argue for the Healthcare law. His application actually pointed out the fallacy in his formula: what he was changing to wasn’t adequately defined. Remember, we had to pass the bill to find out what was in it. I think the formula may work, however, IF the change is a return to a previous, known data point (e.g. “do we stay, or do we go back“?).

Say, for instance, in the spending on Food Stamps. From the Daily Caller:

The vast majority of federal spending in the Senate farm bill, which is  estimated to cost over $100 billion annually, is going toward food stamps,  representing a 100 percent increase since President Barack Obama took office,  according to Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions.

“The legislation will spend $82 billion on food stamps next year, $82 billion and an estimated $770 billion over the next ten years. So, to put these figures  in perspective, and they’re so large it’s difficult to comprehend, we will spend next year $40 billion on the federal highway program,” said Sessions, the  ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee.

Food stamp spending has more than quadrupled, four times, it’s increased fourfold since the year 2001. It has increased 100 percent since President Obama took office,” he said.

Even though he has worsened this trend, we can’t lay all of this at Obama’s feet. What Mark Steyn likes to refer to as the inexorable ‘ratchet’ effect of government is a bi-partisan effort. In much the same way that water always seeks its own level, government always seeks to grow larger.

Always.

From budget.senate.gov:

“While the poor economy has undeniably increased the number of people on food stamps, this alone cannot explain the extraordinary growth in the program. For instance, between 2001 and 2006, food stamp spending doubled—but the unemployment rate remained around five percent.” (**which qualifies as full employment – JTR)

Three factors help explain this extraordinary increase.

–The first is that eligibility standards have been loosened over time, with a dramatic drop in eligibility standards in the last few years.

Second, it has been the explicit policy goal of the federal bureaucracy to increase the number of people on food stamps—bonus pay is even offered to those states who sign more people up.

–And third, the way the system is arranged—with states administering the program but the feds paying for it—states have an incentive to see their food stamp budgets swell, not shrink. That means overlooking a dramatic amount of fraud and abuse.

There is no question that food stamps help some truly needy families. But there is even less question that this program is being abused like an 8-yr-old at a blackjack table.

—–

Take a look at THIS chart: when you think “Farm Bill”, aren’t you picturing stuff that has to do with, oh, I don’t know, …farms?

GBL wrote about this the other day, arriving at the same conclusion: this program, regardless of its original good intentions, has become corrupted far in excess of anyone’s worst nightmares. And this is just one example of countless such abuses.

—–

What needs to happen, what must happen, is plain for anyone who is willing to see. It’s the change formula which I referenced at the beginning. The cost of the status quo is the ever-increasing levels of dependency of our country upon our government. The change is means testing and strict controls for Food Stamp eligibility, rather than the awarding of Stamps being an end unto itself.

The conclusion from budget.senate.gov sums it up perfectly:

“We need to re-establish the moral principle that federal welfare should be seen as temporary assistance, NOT permanent support. The goal should be to help people become independent and self-sufficient.

Such reforms, made sincerely and with concern for those in need, will improve America’s social, fiscal, and economic health.”

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6 responses to “Election 2012: the Growth of Government and how (and why) it must be stopped

  1. It truly is gross in the truest sense of the term. Surgery may be required.

    • I’d agree, James, and say that surgery is mandatory.

      Of course, when you have one side screaming that even a reduction in the RATE of growth qualifies as “cuts”, it’s tough to have an adult discussion.

      Romney/Ryan will need to be at their very best to get this even partially done over the next four years.
      May God guide their actions.

  2. Government programs are like fybroid tumors. They grow and grow and grow, feeding off of blood that needs to get to the rest of the body. Unchecked, they end up dying by killing the host.

    This is the sad reality of government programs, and a wake up call to those who have chosen to either defraud those programs, or become willing wards of the state. Unchecked, this ever growing cadre will eventually “kill” (bankrupt) the host, unless they are surgically exorcised from the host.

    • In the old days, they’d just amputate, which is the “all-or-nothing” argument which you get from most Progressives:
      “You just want kids to starve”.
      “You hate Big Bird”.
      “You want women to die”.
      “You don’t think we need teachers, firefighters, police, etc.,…”

      Give me a break.

      It’s as if you go home and ask your spouse, “Why did you spend $45,000 on SNEAKERS for our 3 children last month???”, and he/she replies, “Why do you hate our kids? Now I can’t even purchase clothing for them? Are they supposed to run around barefoot?”

      The arguments are absurd when looked at in context. Of course, the context is rarely given in the press, or if it is, it’s cherry-picked.

      The old Jack-Nicholson-BATMAN quote is applicable for Washington D.C.: “This town …needs an enema”.

  3. Exactly, JTR…..

    A departure from our “medical” theme here, but it comes down to what our dear friend, James Carville, said: “It’s the economy, STUPID!” The current path that the Socialist-in-Chief has us on means economic ruin, and sooner than most would like to admit.

    • “Attention, attention; the following ship is Now Boarding:

      -The U.S.A. ‘Economy’.
      -Destination: DOOM.
      -Estimated Arrival Time: IMMINENT.

      Please give your wallets to the Purser as you take your seats.
      You won’t be needing them anymore, we promise.

      Captain Obama will address you all shortly.

      Buh-bye….”

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