Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Private Plane Hypocricy

I struggled with whether to post this video or not. In all honesty, it feels like one of those "60 Minutes" pieces that is trying to convince you that something is wrong versus simply stating the facts. Then I thought about how the Senators and the media jumped on the private plane story during the auto industry bailout, and thought it was fair game. Plus, it mentioned both a Republican (from Texas no less!) and a Democrat, so it reinforces my argument that the waste in our government is spread across both parties equally.

The arguments supporting the whole private plane thing typically revolve around two concepts. First, many times it may be the only way to be efficient with their time. And trust me, since I'm paying their salary, I want them to be efficient. The other line of reasoning is so they can get out and talk to everyone in their state, which I also understand. I'm guessing many of our government leaders tend to default towards the convenience of private air travel, even when unnecessary. You want to talk to the people? Hang out in the airport bar while you flight is delayed for the 3rd time. You will get to talk to many constituents.

View the video here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

You tax dollars at work

This is a few months old, but certainly indicates what can happen when egos and tax dollars meet. Watch this video about the (necessary?) John Murtha airport.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Something to thing about...

The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.

- Patrick Henry, American patriot and orator (1736-1799)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It is the system, not the party.

I have written in several posts that the problem we have with our government is not a Republican or Democratic thing, but a systematic thing. Our government has no incentive to be efficient or cut costs. In fact, it can be said the government officials and employees are have negative incentives to do these things. If a department becomes more efficient and doesn't use their entire budget, their budget is slashed next year. However, if they meet or exceed their budget, they can ask for an increase next year.

Why is it like this? Because unlike private companies, the government doesn't sell anything. They don't have to convince people to buy their products to produce revenue, they take money from us through taxes. A private company has to produce something with value, then convince consumers to purchase. If a company not efficient, it will go out of business. If the government is not efficient, it will tax, borrow and print money to get to breakeven.

A great article discussing this in more detail can be found here.

Anybody remember the SNL parody of Ross Perot? Dana Carvey impersonated Ross Perot. In a satirical commercial, Perot (Carvey) stated that based on the performance of the country, Perot would receive a "bonus" of billions of dollars. At the time it was funny. In hindsight, maybe Carvey accidentally discovered something that would improve, not increase, our government.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Want to see what might happen? Look west!

I was browsing through many articles today trying to find something to post. It is not that there is a shortage of material, but the GM bankruptcy and Healthcare reform is what everybody is talking about. What new insight could I provide?

Then, there is was, a brilliant article about California's financial situation. Could California be providing us with a blatant example of what could happen if a government continues to grow and no longer has the revenues to sustain it? To quote, "The message everyone ought to take from this sad story is that high taxes, high spending and a large bureaucracy are a prescription for disaster. And we also had better take note of the similarity to what our federal government is doing." I couldn't agree more.

Read the article from the Bluefield Daily Telegraph here, and please post your comments.