Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Federal Government's RESET button

The following is an article of personal beliefs and not to be interpreted as an Official Statement of The Jacksonian Party.

To any who have read a fraction of my works on the way the Nation is currently being run, you are probably coming to the conclusion that there is not much trust in the way things are currently being done. From the economy to foreign affairs to National security to effectively fighting a distributed war against a foe using asymmetrical warfare: there is too much hinderance of all things and while checks and balances are *good* when there is immense inertia, then any minor check becomes a show-stopper. That is my attitude towards the Federal Government in this day and age. It is too large to govern effectively on anything at all.

Through the years things that had once been a realm of the States and Individuals was booted up to the Federal Government to 'take care of things'. Thus a laundry list of items began to adhere to the Government and accountability, which had rested at lower levels, got lost in the bureaucracy needed to address a Nation. Lets look at just a few examples:

1) Social Security - More than just a retirement and disability system, this system was used to churn older workers out of active economic work. This made good sense during the Depression, with so many out of work, and a short Government stipend to tide one over between retirement and death was a help. Demographics, even without the Baby Boom, would have caused the system problems as people started to live longer lives, require more end-of-life care and generally need to be supported by fewer workers in the workforce. The demographic balance would become top-heavy in any Nation undergoing such and the Baby Boom just slaps across the face much harder. So, the question is, why is there now a *need* for Social Security?

Today Americans that have any income invest, even in meager amounts, in mutual funds. With a broad investment plan, both for domestic and foreign companies, only *another* worldwide Depression would bring massive problems to the such investments. True, such investments are not secured, unless one buys an insurance policy on such (have you?). But life, itself, is not *secured*, and one can die at home slipping in the bathtub as easily as from old age. Americans have learned to 'manage risk', and only the truly destitute need a helping hand *up* from poverty, not a dole to be given indefinitely. I address the concept of a Federal Medical Service to help the destitute and poor and elderly if they cannot afford medication, and make the Government a bulk-buyer of medications to get a very steep discount. Pharmaceutical companies would have a difficult time gouging the Government when given a steady stream of production and profit. Perhaps not as *much* profit, but then one need not go through the Government to get medications, either. And the overall savings would be passed to independent medical plans that serve the Government, and private plans could also avail themselves of this. Strangely enough this is a form of regulation on Interstate Commerce to serve the General Welfare, and I really do not have a problem with such. Lean Government need not be destructive or amiss in its duties, but it also need not try to over-regulate the entire country.

2) Department of Labor - So, what does this do that is critical to the modern day economy? Give health and safety guidelines? Workplace guidelines? Set wages for certain job categories? Is a Dept. of Labor even necessary? It would appear that there are many groups inside the Government capable of doing some of the above (safety to NIST, health to NIH, workplace guidelines and payscales - are these necessary?) and Equal Employment Opportunity sounds like a Dept. of Justice thing. Bulk it up by a division and wipe out the entire Dept. of Labor. It served a purpose in days of yore to ensure equality of consideration for jobs and fair pay, but those days are basically over with individuals switching jobs, job categories and entire careers multiple times in their lives. Time to end this appendage and distribute the few necessary things out to other places.

3) NASA - This place was set up to keep space and aerosciences up with the USSR during the Cold War. Today it has outmoded craft, more bureaucrats than engineers and is an active hinderance to actually getting safe and affordable space travel. If the equivalent of NASA had been around in 1903, we would still be looking at this idea of a 'metal skin monoplane'. It served its political purpose, and for science it does a fairly decent job. Force it to buy Commercial Off The Shelf for everything save a few probes, and get it out of the rocketry engineering business. Institute a prize system to encourage new industries to overtake the current wheezing giants that slumber in the aerospace field. The dawn of the Space Age is over... so why are we still stuck on Earth for everything except satellite communications? Take any 30 year period of the aircraft industry and compare it to advances made the last 30 years with NASA. It is time for this to go. Meld it in with the National Academy of Science and/or the Air Force.

4) Dept. of Energy - It hasn't come up with anything since nuclear reactors, and those are flawed designs. The US now lags behind nuclear design and safety compared to the rest of the world and that black mark sits solely with this Dept. Also, where are all the good alternatives promised in the 1970's? Pare off the nuclear component, give it to military and the R&D to the National Academy of Science. Nuclear waste? That is why we *have* an Army Corps of Engineers! Maybe not the best folks on the planet, but compared to the Dept. of Energy, they should be able to cope with this. Bring in the NAS for vitrification at high pressures and look at subduction zone burial. Once you are below the carbon-compensation depth, nothing lives down there, anyways.

5) Dept. of Agriculture - If Big Agribusiness hasn't figured out how to farm properly, then they deserve to go out of business. Food inspection? Looks like a Food and Drug Administration baliwick, give them a couple of extra divisions and share resources with the States Departements of Agriculture. Also, this will end all of the subsidies to agriculture. Good! Cheap food is too expensive to maintain, better to get it on the global market at a lower price and let the land be used more profitably for other things.

6) Small Business Administration - It seems there are plenty of opportunities to start and keep small businesses going without the Government getting in the way. Give businesses under 50 people a higher score on Federal contracts and be done with it. If people in this day and age cannot figure out how to open a small business, then they probably aren't competent enough to *run it*.

7) Dept. of Education - Johnny had problems reading in 1958. Lots of money went to various departments to help. It didn't. The Dept. of Education was started in 1980 to help. It hasn't. Block grant and put in hard testing standards and proportional payments for reaching the top or exceeding it. End the bureaucracy which has not helped one bit as the reading percentages stay the same year after year, decade after decade. This is a State and local affair, anyway, education is *not* Constitutionally mandated.

8) IRS - Taxation is a mess that no one can figure out. Flat tax across the board, no exemptions and no loopholes. Scrap the entire taxcode. Make businesses pay on their income minus salaries and wages, and then at the same rate as individuals. End this mess, and pare down the IRS to a basic receiving and data entry unit. Tax only income and salaries. Put tariffs upon Nations we do not Like.

Basically one gets the idea that I am *not* a Small Government Conservative. I am a *spare and lean* Government Jacksonian who wants over-regulation out of my life while having just a few assurances that in a catastrophe there *might* be some help, but that I am basically on my own. I started out my working career in bad health and planned accordingly. If people in *good* and *robust* health did so, they would be able to retire at an early age on investments. The Socialist Nanny State is an anathema to a free people and their liberty. Everytime the Federal Government gets handed something to do that the People do not have the stomach to do, some more liberty goes away.

To those who keep repeating Ben Franklin's: "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security."

I must ask a rejoinder: What do those get that give up their liberty for NO security or just recompense?

For that is what the People do every time the Federal Government is given something to do that is properly with the States and the People. You give up the liberty of personal decision to a bureaucrat, and then complain bitterly that they are not as good as you at making a decision.

So *stop* giving them things to decide upon! It is really and truly, just that simple. Say so with your voice, your money and your vote. Statist economies and politics looked to be all the rage in the 1930's, with Communism and National Socialism taking things under their reign... and diving the world into war. When one hands power to a bureaucrat, some of your liberty and right to Guide the Nation goes with it. Nation States are horrible at running economies and managing liberty. The more Authoritarian or Totalitarian, the worse they become, and the harsher they are towards their own people. That is *why* the Constitution vests NO rights with the Government save those few necessary to *govern*. Govern. NOT RULE.

The Second World War required a coordinated Nation to survive. And it did so, but at the cost of the People forgetting that before the war we were actually *climbing* out of the Depression, that businesses were hiring and that things were turning around IN SPITE OF the work done by the Federal Government. Today we are for more well educated, understand economics far better and know that the source of the strength of this Nation are in its People and small businesses. We are, however, saddled with these Socialist appendages that are twisting this Nation from one of Individuals to one of Groups. By giving Groups rights that Individuals do *not* have, we lose liberty and freedom faster. Groups should *not* have the right to try and pass laws against free speech or free thought, nor to suck up vital income from the Government that rightly belongs to the People..

What we need is a Federal Government RESET button to push. A valid and viable way to change this Nation back into something the Founders would be proud of. A Nation of Individuals leading free lives with as little governance as possible and as much responsibility and accountability on the shoulders of the People themselves where it rightly belongs. By giving the responsibility and accountability to the Government it is poorly addressed, mismanaged and takes the liberty from you as 'just another thing I can't do something about'. That is how a Socialist speaks. If you find yourself complaining against the Government, realize that the very complaint against the Government for something that was the individual's responsibility is a Socialist one. By getting in this mindset we are now at peril of losing the very concept of Our Nation.

As Individuals we can change that. Not just through the old and tired protests and gatherings and marches... but through the process of political change and spreading ideas.

Do NOT give any support to any party that sees taking responsibility and accountability from the Individual as a *good thing*.

Do not support individuals running for office that do same.

And DO talk to your fellow Citizens and hash out what really needs to be done locally, state-wide and federally.

There are those that would welcome a Socialist Nanny State. One that takes care of you like a Big Brother from cradle to grave... so you won't have any difficult decisions in your life.

And soon, no decisions at all.


TexasFred said...

"The following is an article of personal beliefs and not to be interpreted as an Official Statement of The Jacksonian Party."

But YOU are The Jacksonian Party, party of one... :)

A Jacksonian said...

Very true! But one needs separate purely personal beliefs from doctrinal outlook... So, although I am The Jacksonian Party, I am also an individual with thoughts on Jacksonianism and how it could play out on National Affairs.

So my purely *personal* beliefs must be separated from the official doctrine of The Jacksonian Party...

Dumb Looks, Still Free!

TexasFred said...

LMAO.. You Sir, are a hoot...

A Jacksonian said...

Glad to brighten your day!

One must keep things in perspective...

Internet Newbie said...

A Jacksonian -

I don't know how to safely provide a RESET button. However, I believe a "Legislative Diet" might eventually provide the same function.

I.E., I propose that, for every new piece of legislation and every new regulation created, it be required that two pieces be repealed (except for legislation that re-affirms an existing one ;o)).


P.S. If this is not achievable, then another option would be to not allow any ammendments to bills after they have been released from committee (other than line-item deletes to normalize House and Senate versions if they are different).

A Jacksonian said...

I.N. - My best thought was that every 10 years all rules, regulations, and laws must be re-upped by Congress or go *poof* if they do not. Put up a website for the comments so that lawmakers get to pay some attention to the detritus they passed and soon they will be kept thoroughly occupied debating old laws.

And when that lovely year ending in 1 comes along, then the Public Law giving the House 435 seats gets debated... and the firestorm that comes when THAT goes down will be fun... because it superceded the previous apportionment and since that was made obsolete by the new one...well... we get to a Max. House of 1:30K. Over 9,000 Representatives.

Then we get REAL representative democracy.

And just try to corrupt enough out of 9,000 or so to keep anything like the laws we have today. There isn't enough money to go around to do that, and the eagle eyes watching each other? Ahhh... fun.