Sunday, July 31, 2011

Role of Government: How Large & How Active?

"Do It Right, Or Don't Do It At All."
Anonymous
There is a divide in America between those who want a smaller government and those who want a more active, and thus larger, government. The issue is what is governments role. This will dictate the size of government.and spending

The Preamble of the Constitution says:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
There is little debate that the role of government includes assuring domestic peace and providing an army for defence against foreign tyranny. The quarrel between liberals and conservatives centers around how large should our military be and what to include in defining general welfare. The dispute is in the center, with the extremes being a small contingent of the American people.

The moderate liberal and conservative does not want government to take anymore of their income and distribute it to others in the form of welfare programs.  They also want to curtail borrowing. When liberals say we should help the needy, they are suggesting the help come from someone else. The middle class conservative is unwilling to have government take any additional wealth of theirs for the needy.

We need to go through the complete budgeting process outlined below.
  1. We must define what is meant by "general welfare" as referred to in the Constitution.
  2. We must decide whether the nation still has special obligations to our black citizens as a result of allowing slavery for almost 100 years and discrimination far beyond that.
  3. We must decide whether government has a role in protecting small business from big oligopolies that destroy free markets and jobs.
  4. We must review all departments, agencies and programs and cut back or eliminate any that are not warranted.
This will not be easy and there will be disagreement; however, it must be done. We do not have unlimited resources. Further, the answer to many of the issues will be subjective rather than objective. I cannot recall any department, agency or program created by government that was eliminated. There must be some; however, there are not many. Surely there is allot of fat to cut. Here is an outline to do that.

Simultaneous with the above process our current and next years budget needs to be reviewed and developed. Many opportunities to reduce expenses will be glaring and agreed on before clearly defining what we mean by general welfare. Thees cuts must be made immediately.

Over the last half century our budgeting process was to first determine what we wanted to do and then figure out where we get the money to do it. This is backwards and needs to Change and here is a good approach.
  1. Calculate projected revenues for the fiscal year
  2. Calculate projected expenditures for the fiscal year, including any pay-down of existing debt.
  3. Do one of the following
    • If expenditures exceed revenues, ascertain what expenditures to cut.
    • If revenues exceed expenditures, decide what to do with revenues.
Washington focuses on new laws and it is weak on implementation.  No company would exist very long if its senior executives created a plan but had no means of controlling and reporting on the implementation of the plan on a continuing basis.

Roger Wagoner, former CEO of GM, must be tempted to call all member of Congress to Detroit and have them explain how they got into this mess. No Congressman would be allowed to fly a government jet to the meeting.

There will be some reading this who will say "hogwash". We should just start cutting where we can without understanding what is trying to be accomplished. That would be an unfortunate approach; however, that is exactly what we are telling these 12 individuals to do.  The results will be a mess.     

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"When liberals say we should help the needy, they are suggesting the help come from someone else."

This is false. As a liberal, I would be very to have the government spend my taxes on helping the needy instead of spending it on our ever expanding military. This is what liberals want.

Instead of spouting conservative talking points about what liberals think, you might want to talk to some.

Oz7 said...

I agree with anonymous. I, too, am a liberal (showing compassion, not pity). And it has nothing to do with the days of Slavery or the 1964 Voter's Right Act when full-rights and still limited jobs were legalized for African Americans. It's about Semper Fi: we're all in this together as Americans -- nobocdy gets left behind, especially when Big Bankers and Big Business outsource their manufacturing labor and other jobs to non-Americans.

Are Republicans Americans or what?

Obama does have a plan, no need for more: the plan is for the Congressional Committee to deliver a reasonable All-American plan to the Congress that a reasonable Senate can pass to the President of these United States of America.

Banicki said...

I need to clarify what I said about liberals not wanting any more of their income given to the more needy.

I know many middle class liberals and Many complain that the wealthy need to be taxed more to help the needy. This belief has been around for decades and yet very few of my liberal friends have given up any of their niceties in life like a larger house, a new SUV, daily stops at Starbucks or Cold Stone and instead give some money directly to the needy. Why aren't they doing this?