John Stossel: Time for spring cleaning in government
When Barack Obama ran for President, he promised to clean house, "I'm not a Democrat who believes that we can or should defend every government program just because it's there. There are some that don't work."
"We just need to cut back!" said Obama, the candidate. He promised to end "waste at the Economic Development Agency and the Export-Import Bank that's become little more than a fund for corporate welfare." Good for him. Yet both programs thrive: The Ex-Im Bank just gave another $8 billion to Boeing, and the EDA spent $2 million to build a wine-tasting room and "culinary amphitheater."
Welfare for businesses is even more harmful than welfare for poor people, because it kills the free enterprise that creates real prosperity. "When you've got government putting its thumb on the scale," says Duppler, "saying this business deserves more attention, more money, more government support than another one, that's ... the centrally planned economy."
Many people concerned about big government focus on high taxes. High taxes are bad, but I worry more about the spending. Spending is a tax. Since government has no money of its own, the spending money must come from you.
So now that spring is about to arrive, let's give government that overdue cleaning. Eliminate half the 170,000 pages of federal laws, scrap useless Cabinet departments, and cut the $4 trillion in spending in half. We could move about so much more freely if our lives weren't buried in government's junk.
When government is big, we become smaller. When we're trapped in the web of their rules, we don't innovate; we become passive.
John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed."
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