One of my major pleasures is keeping in touch with friends around the country via e-mail lists. Such lists are a bit passe according to the younger generations but some of my lists has been in existence for well over a decade.
One, known as the 1911 Tech Talk list, originally about 1911-style pistols, is more like a group of friends discussing just about everything.
For the last week, we’ve been arguing taxes. Specifically the “fair tax” so beloved by some. I don’t. I favor a flat tax. I detest any tax based on consumption.
But, whether it’s a sales tax as proposed by the “fair tax” advocates or the flat tax that I favor, we both want to eliminate or reduce as much as possible that great federal bureaucracy, the IRS.
My post today isn’t about taxes, nor the IRS. It’s about government bureaucracy at every level. Bureaucracy is killing us one regulation at a time and I’ve found another who also has similar beliefs. US Representative Fred Upton (R-MI). Congressman Upton has written this column for the Washington Times and I think it’s worth repeating.
Pelosi’s Congress ignores the red-tape brigade but the GOP won’t
Our nation is confronted with serious problems that require a fundamental reassessment of the size and role of government. With unemployment near 15 percent in many parts of the country, an unsustainable debt and unbridled federal spending, people fear the actions of a federal government that has grown too large and hinders rather than encourages economic growth. Folks desire a government that is responsive to their concerns and responsible with the resources they provide it. They want government returned to its proper, more limited role in their lives. They want a government that fosters the right conditions for job creation and economic growth.
This Democrat-controlled Congress has exploded the size of government, expanded government into more sectors of our economy, driven the national debt to unprecedented levels, placed spending on a trajectory that imperils future generations, and created a hostile environment for businesses large and small, turning a blind eye to the seemingly endless job-killing red tape coming from the administration. This Congress has failed to exercise oversight over agencies that have been developing regulations that stifle private investment and send American jobs overseas. As the late Walter Wriston, who advised President Reagan on economic policy during my tenure at the Office of Management and Budget, once said, “Capital will go to where it’s wanted and stay where it’s treated well.”
Should Republicans recapture the House in November, we will have a fundamentally different approach. Over the past four years, the priorities of Congress have fallen out of sync with those of the American people. For instance, one of Nancy Pelosi’s first acts as House speaker was to create a new Select Committee on Climate Change. To date, this new select committee has needlessly spent nearly $8 million in taxpayer money, and that does not account for the countless dollars spent on so-called “fact finding” missions. By law, this select committee has no legislative role; its sole purpose is to write reports. The only jobs created by this committee are within the confines of Capitol Hill. The American people do not need Congress to spend millions of dollars to write reports and fly around the world. We must terminate this wasteful committee.
During the final two years of the George W. Bush administration, Mrs. Pelosi and oversight committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman were eager to exert Congress’ oversight authority. They made countless inquiries, requested reams of documents and repeatedly called Cabinet secretaries and agency leaders to testify under oath. No program or executive action went unnoticed or unchecked. Oddly, we have not seen the same enthusiasm since the Obama administration has taken the helm. As a result, the economy has worsened, government spending is at an all-time high, and federal agencies are rampantly codifying more regulations that create a disincentive for private investment and the hiring of new employees. It is the constitutional duty of the House of Representatives to provide a check on the power of the executive branch. Over the past two years, the Pelosi-controlled Congress has been derelict in its duty.
We keep asking, “Where is the economic growth? Where are the jobs?” Because of the administration’s restrictive regulatory stranglehold on industry, companies are lacking the certainty or financial flexibility to hire new employees or invest in new plants or equipment. Instead, they hang onto their capital knowing that regulatory costs and taxes will increase, thus limiting their ability to invest for the future. It is a glaring indictment of current policies that U.S. enterprises are resigned to sit back and gain interest on their stockpiles of cash rather than invest and innovate.
Private enterprise, not government, is the heart and soul of our economy. By discouraging private investment, we eviscerate job growth. Regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Federal Communications Commission and other agencies are only further smothering the economy. The government cannot buy or regulate its way out of this mess. It’s time for a new approach.
Our government was once of the people, by the people, for the people. The pendulum has swung too far in the wrong direction. If the gavel is taken out of Mrs. Pelosi’s grasp, we will fight for economic growth and jobs and restore the American public’s faith and pride in their government.
The complete column is available at the Washington Times. It will matter little if we regain control of Congress and do not reduce the federal bureaucracy, limit their scope and eliminate much of their power. The bureaus, controlled by the Ruling Class is one, if not the greatest, agent of ruin facing our country as our survival as Land of the Free. At the end, it is your vote that determines which path our country takes—a path to more and more regulation and bureaus, or one that reduces the hidden government elites, exposes their agendas and cuts their abuses and power.
Remember, come November 2nd.