Saturday, November 1, 2008

Government Inefficiency, The Good Old Days

I have, from time to time, written about the joys of an inefficient government and the need for less, not more of it's interference in our daily lives. As we begin to live with the consequences of the government bailout of the financial institutions of this country, my point in this is shockingly made. Let's go back and look at this for just a moment. 

It was the government which created the financial entities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as a prop to a publicly traded mortgage market. It was usually former government employees who served as senior managers of both of these two financial entities. It was government which put pressure on the banking industry to make questionable loans to people who couldn't pay them back in order to make political points with their base, which they in turn ran through Fannie and Freddie. It was government who failed in its mandated oversight duties of these organizations, allowing them to operate using accounting practices found shameful by small, third world dictatorships, and so heinous that were they to occur in any other industry the entire senior management staff would find itself behind bars (if not lined up in front of a wall in that third world dictatorship). It is government which now owns Fannie and Freddie, AIG it's insurance company, and is investing in a good part of the rest of the banking industry ... all in the name of helping us, of course. 

Not content with this socialization of the mortgage industry however,the government is now looking at bailing out student loans, credit card debt, and car loans. Additionally, the federal government is talking about stepping in to loan money (your money and mine by the way) directly to other businesses. If that weren't enough, the first of the states in financial straits (due to their own profligate spending) is asking for financial help. California is not doing this because they cannot borrow money elsewhere, but because they know that they can get a better interest rate from the government than they can on the open market. With Arnold leading the charge on this (and who can turn down The Terminator), how many spend now, worry later liberal state governments will climb in line behind him? What does all of this mean? It means that government is becoming far too efficient ... IN RUINING OUR FUTURE! 

In one giant swoop, government has more than doubled the national debt, drug out a dip in the economy that might well have corrected itself if anyone had given it a chance, and condemned future generations to a life of taxation and government intrusion into every aspect of the national economy. If a doctor had done this, the perpetrators could at least be sued for malpractice, but in government error and incompetence are not only not actionable, they are in fact rewarded with re-election. 

So while I still have the strength (and the right) to say anything about it, I just want to do something that I normally object strenuously to, and reminisce. Before my taxes exceed my income and I discover that I will be working until two weeks after I'm dead because my Social Security payments have been used to bail out somebody's bad mortgage or credit card, I want to look back in fondness to when government was too inefficient to take on such far-reaching goals. Before I face the fact that the only 'hope' I have is that I won't cry too often in public and the only 'change' that I will have will be what will laughingly called my take home pay, I want to remember what it was like to live in a country when there was not only a separation between church and state, but between government and business. 

And while I still have a bit of "the creature" still available to ease the pain and suffering that I feel today, I will raise a wee glass and toast: "To Government Inefficiency and the Good Old Days." Slainte' 

4 comments:

Dawn said...

Saaalluuuute!!!!!

Hooda Thunkit said...

Tim,

"Before my taxes exceed my income and I discover that I will be working until two weeks after I'm dead because my Social Security payments have been used to bail out somebody's bad mortgage or credit card..."

Fear not, that income has already been spent buying votes and voters; the money the money that they're after now would your great and great, great grand children's incomes.

Just think of the interest...

The money lenders have been dancing in Hell nightly :-(

Roland Hansen said...

I heard something on the news to the effect that the might-be merger of General Motors and Chrysler is dependent upon a multi-million dollar contribution from us taxpayers in the form of a federal government contribution. I don't understand why private corporate enterprises which bemoan government interference desire governmental taxpayer financial support. Seems to me that corporate America and even small private businesses want to slice it both ways! And we wonder about the inefficiencies of government???? Some things just don't add up for me.

Tim Higgins said...

Roland,

The mistake is easy enough to make when you can remember as much history as we can. You are thinking about the old Corporate America, rather than the new one. In the new Corporate America, corporation get to keep the profits and taxpayers get to absorb the losses.

Welcome to "change".