28. January 2009 · Comments Off on What I want from my government is benign neglect · Categories: General

NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’: The relief for Americans that President Obama spoke of in his Inauguration speech are on the floor of the House today for a vote

Excuse me, President Obama?  Which part of

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act — not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

translates to these bits of crap from the stimulus package?

$19.99 billion in mandatory spending for the Food Stamp program.
$726 million for the after-school snack program.
$650 million for additional Digital TV transition coupons.
$200 million to pay Americorps volunteers.

Graham crackers and juice for the kiddies is bold swift action to revitalize the economy?  Food stamps are going to lay a foundation for new growth?  Television for the love of sweet thorny-headed Christ.

Pigs .. to .. the .. trough.

At the Trough by ballycroy
Legislators in committee dickering over provisions of the Stimulus Package

We seem to have collectively decided in November that something must be done and the government was the one to do it. 

I can’t deny that – for a lot of reasons – we’re in a pickle.

But the problem with having the government do this is that – at best – a few thousand people in Washington decide what is best.  To quote Tommy Lee Jones from ‘Men in Black’

A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

Or to be more charitable: they’re making some very important choices on your behalf, for you, based on their own self-interest. 

Whatever comes out of a mess like that in the best of all possible worlds might work. But more often for everyone except those few thousand people the results will be sub-optimal.

Do we need the government to do something?  Probably.  But the very best thing the government could do at this point is to just go away.

Cross posted to Space For Commerce.

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