Opinion

How You Know When the Government’s Working

Thousands of government workers are not getting paid. Many TSA employees have called in sick at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, the busiest airport in the world.

They are unionized government employees. This would be a good time to replace the TSA with private companies. The airlines would pay for it through airline fees.

Most national parks should be turned over to the states.

The time is long past due for government cost-cutting at every level of government. There is no need for a Federal Department of Education. Phase out the department and save more than $60 billion dollars a year.

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The federal government spends more than $1.7 billion a year to maintain 770,000 empty buildings while other agencies are leasing or buying new space.

Our government always wants more money and refuses to cut a dime from the budget. Consider the following:

The Grace Commission Report was presented to Congress in January 1984. The report claimed that if its recommendations were followed, $424 billion could be saved in three years, rising to $1.9 trillion per year by the year 2000. It estimated that the national debt, without these reforms, would rise to $13 trillion by the year 2000, while with the reforms they projected it would rise to only $2.5 trillion. The report’s recommendations that intruded into policy were ignored by Congress, but many other efficiency recommendations were considered and some were implemented. The debt reached $5.8 trillion in the year 2000. The national debt reached 13 trillion after the subprime mortgage-collateralized debt obligation crisis in 2008.

The report said that one-third of all income taxes are consumed by waste and inefficiency in the federal government, and another one-third escapes collection owing to the underground economy. “With two thirds of everyone’s personal income taxes wasted or not collected, 100 percent of what is collected is absorbed solely by interest on the federal debt and by federal government contributions to transfer payments. In other words, all individual income tax revenues are gone before one nickel is spent on the services [that] taxpayers expect from their government.”

Some of the furloughed Federal Workers are complaining that they are not getting paid, that they are living paycheck to paycheck. That’s not our fault. They eventually will be paid.

The media has picked up on some of these sob stories but has said little about how government programs and policies put people out of work. Where was the media when Obama was shutting down the coal industry and limiting drilling for the oil industry?

One more thing.

Whether its CNBC, or The New York Times, or NPR, the mainstream media is clearly committed to using the current partial government shutdown to portray federal workers as beleaguered victims of the American political system.

But, in all cases I’ve encountered, these reports neglect to mention that on average, civilian federal workers make 17 percent more than similar workers in the private sector, according to a 2017-2018 report by the Congressional Budget Office. That’s total compensation, so we’re including both wages and benefits.

According to the CBO’s report:

Federal civilian workers with no more than a high school education earned 34 percent more, on average, than similar workers in the private sector.

That’s just wages. They get far more in terms of benefits like healthcare and vacation time:

Average benefits were 93 percent higher for federal employees with no more than a high school education than for their private-sector counterparts. (Mises)

Hopefully, the people complaining about having to live paycheck to paycheck will change the way they spend and save post-shutdown.

I saw the following story on Facebook. While there’s a partial shutdown going on, the government is still working to control our lives, steal our money, and spend us into debt.

_________________________

 

An old station hand named Billy was overseeing his stock in a remote pasture in the outback when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced toward him out of a cloud of dust.

The driver, a young man in a Bryony suit, Gucci shoes, RayBan sunglasses, and a Yves Saint Laurent tie, leaned out the window and asked the old man, “If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?

Billy looks at the young man, who obviously is a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing animals and calmly answers, “Sure, why not?”
The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it to his cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.

The yuppie then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany.

Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses an MS-SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with email on his smartphone and, after a few minutes, receives a response.

Finally, he prints out a full-colour, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet printer, turns to Billy and says, “You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves.”

“That’s right. Well, you’ll be helpin’ yourself to one of me animals, then, since you won it fair and square,” says Billy.

He watches the smartly dressed yuppie select one of the animals and looks on with amusement as the man gingerly picks it up & stuffs it into the boot of his car.

As the yuppie is carefully brushing the dust & hair off his suit, Billy says, “Hey, if I can tell you exactly what work you do & where you come from, will you give me back my calf?”

The yuppie thinks about it for a second, wondering what this wrinkled up dirt encrusted uneducated old man could possibly know? He grins and then says, “Okay, old fella, why not? I’m a believer in fair play.”

“You’re a politician,” says the old timer.

“Wow! That’s correct,” says the yuppie. “But, tell me how on earth did you guess that?”

“No guessing required,” answered Billy.

“You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You used millions of dollar’s worth of equipment trying to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don’t know a thing about how working people make a living — or about cows, for that matter. This is a herd of sheep.

Now give me back my dog.”

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