Jeff Jacoby wrote a very succinct and clear analysis of the net impact of the federal government’s Cash for Clunkers program. His conclusion:
“Cash for Clunkers was a deplorable exercise in budgetary wastefulness, asset destruction, environmental irrelevance, and economic idiocy. Other than that, it was a screaming success”
While Cash for Clunkers was more blatantly outrageous and immediately obvious in its counterproductive stupidity than most government programs, a similar clear eyed analysis will find equally compelling results in the ARRA Stimulus program, the TARP bailout of the giant Wall Street banks, the recently ended subsidy of home purchases, the Heath Care “reform” legislation, Sarbanes Oxely, the Dodd Frank financial “reform” bill, most of our foreign aid, and many other well intended government programs throughout history.
The laws of physics should be considered in determining the actions of men and our governments – specifically Newton’s Third Law of Motion – For each action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Successful politicians, with their almost universal need to self confidently delineate “solutions”, tend to be oblivious to the unintended consequences of their actions. Unfortunately, it is more often those unintended consequences that have a larger impact on reality than the well intended programs they result from. Being completely sheltered from personal responsibility and personal ramifications for their actions, even when the results of their failures become obvious to all, good government idealists merely continue on with the next blindly idealistic scheme while blaming the evil of selfish private interests for the failure of their myopic good intentions.
Combining the naive idealism of the good government types with the corruption inherent in any environment where trillions of dollars get allocated, the results we get from Washington are all too predictable. Nobody should be surprised that the majority of Americans have reached a clear consensus that it is time to drastically shrink the size and role of government in our lives.
In “Down With Big Government, Big Business, Big Labor“, Michael Barone accurately reflects the mood of the country. Average Americans are completely fed up with the corrupting collusion of over-sized and overly powerful institutions in our society.
Unfortunately, both major political parties are effectively the same when it comes to centralizing ever greater control in Big Government – Big Business collusion. The times really are ripe for a new political party to emerge and revive the our nations founding ideals of freedom, individual liberty and personal responsibility for our own lives.