My respect for the representatives that we have in Washington is at all time low. For years, they had no problem spending money that they didn’t have and it was all right if they stuck it to the taxpayers and the taxpayer’s children. However, now when it comes down to making some tough decisions to avoid a Government default, they whine like hell and do absolutely nothing. All they worry about is being re-elected in 2012 so they can sit on their ass and debate the use of mosquito netting in the Armed Forces or the future of the incandescent light bulb.
Is our government too big? I seem to think it is. In one of my prior articles, I pointed out that there were nearly 400,000 federal employees currently eligible for retirement. In fact, there was a bill introduced to reduce the number of government workers by hiring one new worker for every three workers that retire or leave their job. Somehow this and many other bills introduced in Congress have gotten lost in the current rhetoric that concentrates on raising taxes and reducing Federal spending.
Another measure of the size of the federal government is the number of cabinet departments. Eight cabinet departments were created from 1788 to 1952. Since 1953, there have been an additional eight cabinet departments established. Seven of the current 16 departments were added since 1965 with the last being the Department of Homeland Security in 2002. As of 2008, the employment level of the wage and salary workers in the Federal Government is 2,016,800 exclusive of the U.S. Postal Service. Despite the focus on cutting back the size and scope of government, the Obama administration’s proposed 2012 budget would add about 15,000 employees to the federal payroll when compared to the estimates for the current fiscal year.
What is really disappointing is the fact that the legislators are willing to “ram” through a short term deal that really solves nothing. We raise the debt ceiling enough to keep the government from defaulting and we reduce spending by some magical number. Well, folks, at some point we are going to have to address the real issues in our “federal bag of tricks.” Mr. Obama notes the use of corporate jets and the elimination of the tax breaks to the wealthy oil companies when in reality, our federal tax code is so full of loop holes that it is almost comical. Swiss cheese has less holes. Why not address the real issues? Something has to be done about Medicare and Social Security. We cannot sustain the continuance of either of these programs based on what we currently know. There is not enough revenue coming in to keep either program solvent for more than a few years. Doing a thorough job would require some real work on the part of our legislators. How about the trillion dollar defense budget?
I think the threat to cut off Social Security payments to senior citizens is the blow that broke the camel’s back. This is the use of scare tactics and Mr. Obama knows it. I hope that Mr. Obama raises a lot of money for his re-election campaign as he is going to need every penny of it. I don’t see his check being held up in August!