Teetering Greece demonstrates the failure of government spending
Poor President Obama. Despite all his efforts, or maybe because of them, the U.S. economy keeps crumbling.
But to be fair, government is a failure everywhere. Exhibit A is the big fat Greek bankruptcy. Have you heard? A Greek tragedy is unfolding – again. Greece is bankrupt and insolvent – again. Government thinks it can save Greece with taxpayer money – again. And the more money poured into Greece by the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and central bankers, the worse it gets. The Greek gross domestic product is going in reverse. The economy is crumbling despite hundreds of billions loaned by government only a year ago. Now it’s time for Groundhog Day – again.
Does this story sound familiar? It plays on the news here in the United States nightly. Government pours trillions into the U.S. economy and things get worse by the day. Unemployment rises. The dollar sinks. Debt is multiplying. Real estate is collapsing. Inflation is raging. So Mr. Obama spends more. The vicious cycle continues.
When will we ever learn?Politicians, bureaucrats and central bank chiefs the world over keep repeating the mantra of big government: “If only you’ll give us more time and money, this time we’ll fix the problem.” But as one of my heroes, Ronald Reagan, often said, “Government isn’t the solution, it’s the problem.”
History proves that government ruins whatever it touches. The fact is, the economy will not improve until we stop government from interfering. Government may feel our pain but that’s because they are the ones causing it.
Don’t take my word for it. The Congressional Effect Fund, a mutual fund on Wall Street, has studied the effects of Congress on the economy for decades. Since 1964, whenever Congress is in session, the U.S. stock market is up about 1 percent on an annualized basis. During that same period, while Congress is on vacation, the stock market is up 17 percent. Coincidence?
Still don’t believe government is a walking disaster?
How about the Department of Veterans Affairs? A federal appeals court recently ruled that the VA suffers from “unchecked incompetence.” That incompetence is killing our brave veterans. It turns out that 18 returning vets commit suicide per day and 85,000 vets are on waiting lists for care. Even severely depressed vets must wait eight weeks to see a psychiatrist. Each year, 1,500 vets die while waiting for care. If you deserve a disability check, you’ll be waiting as long as four years. Still want to serve your country? Still want government to run your health care?
I just can’t wait for the results of Obamacare. Since government-run health care works so well for our veterans, can you even imagine how well it will work for the entire country?
The U.S. Postal Service – mandated by law – has no competition. Yet it loses $8 billion per year. No results like that have ever been produced in the history of the private sector.
The government-run school system is in shambles. Taxpayers spend the most per student in the world and get among the worst results. The Department of Education budget went from $30 billion to $60 billion under President George W. Bush. Does anyone think results doubled? Under Mr. Obama, we spent an extra $125 billion in stimulus on education. Does anyone see any improvement?
My wife Debra and I homeschooled our daughter from birth to her acceptance at Harvard. The first classroom of her entire life was inside the hallowed halls of Harvard. She just got her Harvard report card – straight As. Think it might be time to call government-run education a failure?
When Medicare was founded in the 1960s, government “experts” estimated its cost at $12 billion per year by 1990. Instead it was $110 billion.
When NASA started the space shuttle, their “experts” estimated its future cost at $10.7 million per trip. The actual cost has turned out to be $1.7 billion per trip.
Those kinds of mistakes in the private sector drive companies out of business. But this doesn’t present a problem for government employees. They just raise your taxes and retire on $100,000 pensions.
How about the Department of Energy? It was founded in 1977 to solve our energy crisis. It now has 100,000 employees and spends $24 billion per year. On what? Does anyone think we are less energy dependent than in 1977? Why didn’t we just spend that entire budget on buying gas for the American people?
How about the Federal Reserve’s track record? The Fed was created in 1913 with one main goal: Protect the U.S. dollar. Since the Fed’s creation, our dollar has lost 94 percent of its value. With friends like that, who needs enemies?
How about the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)? It has 11,000 employees and spends $2.5 billion per year. Are we winning the war on drugs? Could it be any worse without a DEA? Maybe the war on drugs is causing the drug epidemic.
Worst of all is the cost of government employees themselves. There are now 22 million people working for the U.S. government. The unfunded liability for the pensions of federal employees is now over $5 trillion. For state workers, the liability is estimated to be between $1 trillion and $3 trillion. One state alone, California, has unfunded liabilities of as much as $500 billion.
All of this money is spent on government employees who have just produced an annual deficit of $1.6 trillion and a national debt of more than $14 trillion. With unfunded liabilities added in, the taxpayers owe an unimaginable $100 trillion, almost double the world’s gross domestic product. What do these 22 million employees do all day? Think up new ways to bankrupt the country?
Should any of this surprise you? This same federal government took over the most famous, legal brothel in the history of Nevada and bankrupted it in a year.
The moral to this story: If you can’t run a whorehouse and make a profit, you’re not going to succeed at running the nation’s health care, the VA, the public schools, the post office, the war on drugs, the Department of Energy, the economy or anything.
If you’re waiting for government to save you or this economy, get ready for a long wait – eternity.
Wayne Allyn Root is a former Libertarian vice-presidential nominee and author of “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold, Gambling & Tax Cuts” (Wiley, 2009). He writes at RootforAmerica.com