August 21, 2019

Government Insanity and Ineptitude

The great G.K. Chesterton once wrote this about government: “Government has become ungovernable; that is, it cannot leave off governing. Law has become lawless; that is, it cannot see where laws should stop. The chief feature of our time is the meekness of the mob and the madness of the government.” (Eugenics and Other Evils: An Argument Against the Scientifically Organized State)

To this regard, here are a few current examples that might resonate with you…

  • How can any sane government running hundreds of billions of dollars in annual deficits propose a tax cut? Am I missing something here? We owe others and ourselves $20 trillion dollars and we know that the interest rate on that debt will be going up. Everybody likes tax cuts but paying for the tax cut is a whole new issue. A tax cut means the government will take in less tax revenue and the money passed onto taxpayers is not guaranteed to result in any additional taxes paid to the government.
  • What part of a balanced budget does our Congress and President not understand? We use spending bills that have no relation to incoming revenue to keep our government running – running in the red! We keep going through this futile exercise of a government shutdown every few years as if something magical will happen. The whole preparation of an annual budget by our President is a useless exercise.
  • Almost all of our Federal entitlement programs will eventually run out of money and 67% of the Federal Budget is made up of these entitlement programs. Now somewhere along the line wouldn’t you assume that our Congress would address these financial shortfalls? What am I missing again?
  • Obamacare was a congressional fiasco from the moment it was passed. It was underfunded and our Congressional leaders knew it. Now it is facing a market that can no longer afford to keep it going and we can’t find the votes to replace it. No one likes to see people without insurance but the insurance carriers are bailing like a sinking life raft. Only the Federal Government can sustain a lost cause but even then there are limitations to how far the Federal Government can go!
  • How long will we fund student loans with government money? The whole program is now over a trillion dollars with defaults rising. Social Security payments are now starting to be subject to collection efforts to offset unpaid student loans by seniors. Many students go to college and either never finish or get a degree with an annual salary that barely meets their living expenses much less ever pay the interest costs on their five or six figure loan.
  • Why are we not addressing some of the issues that face our country? Immigration reform has been around for decades and nothing meaningful has ever been done. Is our solution to build a wall? You have to be kidding. As Congress debates a wall, we have NAFTA and our American manufacturers are building factories in Mexico that produce autos and auto parts along with air conditioners to expand the Mexican economy. North of the border, immigrants are taking American jobs and south of the border, we are doing all we can to employ the Mexicans that have stayed.
  • We have a 96,000 word IRS tax code that is so complicated only a few people understand it. Why do I have the feeling that any of the “quick fix” solutions that are being proposed will eventually result in serious damage and long term hurt to the American taxpayer? How can our beloved President who has been in office 100 days, propose massive changes to this tax code? If it was this simple, why has it not been proposed before? I suspect that tax reform has really not been thought through thoroughly. What are the financial impacts in reducing the tax brackets and changing the tax percentage being charged in these brackets? I am not convinced that our government has done any meaningful analysis of the tax situation.

I rest my case.

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Written by
Donald Wittmer

DONALD WITTMER is a retired business executive who held key roles in the automotive and banking sectors. For a time, he also served as a Fiscal Agency Manager for the Detroit branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. He received his undergraduate degree from Cincinnati's Xavier University, an M.A. in business management from Central Michigan University, and earned certification in bank operations from the School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A husband, father, and grandfather, he teaches part-time at the Kent Place School for Girls in Summit, New Jersey.

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Written by Donald Wittmer
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