Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Government not responsible with your money

I had a discussion with a good friend who happens to be a liberal republican, and he said that he believes most people are irresponsible with their money, and that the government must take some of it so it can be spent wisely.

I said: "people are smart and are capable of spending their money way more wisely than the government can."

He said, "People do not spend their money wisely, and therefore the government must do if for them."

I said, "I beg to differ.  Individuals work hard for their money, and therefore make wise decisions so they don't blow it.  Government officials have no ties to that money, so it's easier to spend it.  In other words, it's easier to spend other people's money than your own."

He said, "The government is less wasteful with money."

I said, "You think? If an individual blows his money, he pays a consequence.  In this way, he learns to spend it wisely.  If the government blows money, no one seems to care.

Cal Thomas wrote a recent column on May 6, 2014, "Government waste: Where has all the money gone?" that covered this issue well.  He said:
Most people, perhaps even the super-wealthy, who are usually accountable to auditors, want to know where their money goes. This is especially true when they detect money for which they can't account. Not so with the federal government.
Some recent headlines reflect a disturbing pattern that has contributed to our $17 trillion debt and to a growing cynicism among the public, which increasingly regards government in a negative light.
Here are just a few recent gems gleaned from reading newspaper stories and wire service reports: "Pentagon to destroy $1 billion in ammunition." This USA Today story says, "It is impossible to know what portion of the arsenal slated for destruction ... remains viable because the Defense Department'sinventory systems can't share data effectively, according to a Government Accountability Office report..."
So in addition to nonfeasance add incompetence.
The New York Times reports on a modest medical office in Brooklyn that received $4.1 million in Medicare funds for "therapy." The Times says the money went to one person. Maybe the government needs therapy. Taxpayers certainly do.
A personal favorite, again from USA Today: "IRS workers who didn't pay taxes get bonuses."
Then there's this from the Washington Post: "Navy to award contract for Marine One helicopter fleet in shadow of previous failure." Why let failure get in the way of a government program?
"$6 billion goes missing at State Department," reports the Fiscal Times. I'm constantly misplacing billions, aren't you?
The bottom line here is that the government is not more accountable with money than individuals.  While individuals are accountable to auditors, the federal government is not accountable to anyone.  While individuals spend money on things that are needed, the government spends it on things no one wants.