Why Not Try the Small Government Solution?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Wiseacre, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. Wiseacre
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    Wiseacre Retired USAF Chief Supporting Member

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    Cal Thomas writes this today, I think the idea is worthy of consideration. One of the things Sweden did to make themselves more financially solvent was to privatize what they could and cut back on what they couldn't. Used to be we (USA) could just bury problems with oodles of money; well, we can't afford to do that any more. We better be looking for more effective and efficient solutions instead of spending more money on programs that don't work very well.

    snippet:

    One of his [John Stossel's program on Fox] guests was Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. Forget for a moment that Daniels is a Republican. Focus on his accomplishments. "You were $78 million in debt," Stossel said. "Now you have a $1.5 billion surplus." In a controversial decision, Indiana leaders leased a 157-mile toll road to foreign investors. "In exchange," writes Ryan Holeywell of Governing.com, "for a $3.8 billion, lump-sum payment, the investors would get to keep toll road revenue for 75 years ... a windfall for Indiana, with little downside to taxpayers." Next year, Daniels announced recently, his state's surplus will be at least $2 billion. Taxpayers can expect a credit on their 2013 taxes.

    Daniels said he invokes what he calls "the Yellow Pages test. If it's in there, then conceivably government shouldn't be doing it itself."

    And the result? "The result," said Daniels, "is we're repairing bridges, building roads. We're the only state with a building boom in infrastructure, and it didn't cost the taxpayers a nickel."

    So why does the federal government still see itself as the primary builder of roads and bridges when it costs more and delivers less? This is a real solution to a nagging problem. Why isn't it more widely embraced? As Stossel said about government: "They want their tentacles on everything." They're about power. The rest of the country wants results, which they must have in order for their businesses to survive and prosper.

    Amtrak was another subject addressed on the program. For 40 years, the rail service has been subsidized by government, but it still loses money, lots of it. The guest was Randal O'Toole, who specializes in transportation for the CATO Institute. O'Toole noted that when government started subsidizing Amtrak, rail fares were lower than airfares. Now it's the reverse. Some routes, like New Orleans to Los Angeles, lose money, but because politicians want trains running through their states and districts, the money keeps flowing in from Washington.

    Contrast this with freight trains, O'Toole says, which once were regulated by the government and are now competitive in the private market. Costs, he says, have gone down.

    If results and not political outcomes or rehearsed sound bites become the primary objective in our political discourse, it's difficult to refute the arguments coming from Stossel's show. Instead of focusing on the familiar talking points from politicians, the program repeatedly demonstrates that the way to a healthier economy and a stronger government is through the private sector, not government. It doesn't require a surgical procedure to remove that "imprint" that government can do it better; just a different way of thinking.

    Why Not Try the Small Government Solution? | RealClearPolitics
     
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  2. flacaltenn
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    flacaltenn USMB Mod Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    You start on that path by attacking areas for which there is LARGE left-right agreement.

    One is corporate subsidies which ought to be slashed and a small fraction of that turned back into R&D funding -- not candy for products that are already mature and on the market.

    Another area of large agreement is Education -- if you can't set and enforce standards from a bureaucracy that doesn't teach -- get rid of it..

    Two simple starts with LARGE universal acceptance --- to get on the right path.
     
  3. Wiseacre
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    Wiseacre Retired USAF Chief Supporting Member

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    I dunno man - I'm thinkin' they need to hit everyone, get rid of all subsidies, tax breaks, and loopholes. Too hard to do it piecemeal, I don't like the idea of picking winners and losers. Seems fairer and easier if everyone shares the pain.
     
  4. signelect
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    signelect BANNED

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    There is almost nothing that the government does that can't be done better and cheaper by the private sector. If the gov't did what the constitution call for and only that it wouldn't be a problem.
     
  5. Black_Label
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    Black_Label Registered Democrat

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    The dems have tried numerous times to close abusive tax loopholes, but the GOP always makes sure that doesn't happen,..
     
  6. Truthmatters
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    Truthmatters BANNED

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    what you call small government has been tried.

    the people decided they needed more government.


    that is how the founders designed the system.
     
  7. DiamondDave
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    DiamondDave Army Vet

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    Except for the huge ones where ~47% pay no federal income tax and rates are graduated so that there is unequal treatment by government under law
     
  8. DiamondDave
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    DiamondDave Army Vet

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    Err... constitution says otherwise
     
  9. flacaltenn
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    flacaltenn USMB Mod Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    The immediate advantage of selecting cuts in COMMON acceptable areas would serve as a stimulus for more widespread adoption..

    The problem with dogmatic adherence to the principle of REVOLUTIONARY reform is obvious when you look at the demands of Ron Paul, Stossel and the Libertarian movement in general. I think you need to DEMONSTRATE that the direction is the correct one before you fire up the chainsaw.

    Nobody would miss the Dept of Education or MOST of the Dept of Commerce. And in fact -- the rewards would probably come quickly and obviously.
     
  10. The T
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    The T George S. Patton Party Supporting Member

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    Total IDIOT That never read the Document or the Ferdarlist Papers. ^^

    TdM? YOU are an embarrassment.
     

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