The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


Despite a continuing flow of evidence to the contrary, tens of millions of Americans fervently believe that putting the "government" in charge of vast portions of our lives, our liberties, our health, and yes, even our safety, is the appropriate strategy as we move into the 21st century. And yet, month after month, we see compelling evidence that the "government" at almost every level doesn't do a particularly good job when it is in charge. In Washington, Trump Derangement Syndrome has caused the Democrats to oppose even the most common sense proposals on immigration (who would have thought that the Dems would walk away from a proposal to provide amnesty to 1.8 million illegal immigrants) or infrastructure improvement. At the same time, senseless devotion to "gun rights" has caused the GOP (and some Dems as well) to oppose even the most common sense restrictions on certain deadly weapons.

A frenzied, biased and generally irresponsible media causes everything to become politicized instantly. Over the past decade, federal agencies have become weaponized (think: the IRS scandal, the FBI's apparent use of FISA warrants to spy on a candidate senior members of the agency didn't like). Still others (in fact, most) are generally viewed as incompetent (think the VA scandal) or bought and paid for (think: the state department's dubious approvals of foreign purchases of uranium under Hillary Clinton).

Today, we read that 48 percent of American believe that a universal guaranteed income is a good idea and that the government will dole out money in a way that achieves social justice and reduces income inequality. No matter that other government entitlements are rife with fraud, abuse, and waste. This one is sure to work.

Things are a bit better on the state and local levels, but just a bit. It is true that the closer decision-making comes to the people affected, the better and more accountable the decisions. But still, incompetence seems to reign.

Rich Lowry uses Broward County Sheriff, Scott Israel, as an exemplar of what is wrong with government leadership at even the local level:
The Broward County sheriff, whose disgraceful performance in the Stoneman Douglas shooting has been a master class in evasion of responsibility, is the latest entry in why we don’t trust our public institutions.

It’s hard to imagine a more comprehensive and catastrophic failure from beginning to end than that of the sheriff’s office in the Parkland massacre. It ignored warnings that were specific and chilling about the shooter, and at least one of its deputies waited outside the school while the shooting occurred (and perhaps others did as well in the immediate aftermath).

Sheriff Israel appropriately pronounced himself disgusted with the deputy, who has lost his job. But asked in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday if he acknowledges that had his department acted differently, the shooter might have been foiled, the sheriff responded with a flip rhyme, “ifs and buts and candy and nuts.”

... He was emphatic about everything not touching on what officers under his authority did or didn’t do. When attention turned to that, he suddenly became mincingly precise and demanded to know more detail about reported warning signs.
Among the many, many problems with government is that no one at a senior level seems to be held accountable, regardless of the wrongdoing or incompetence that is uncovered. When was the last time that a senior government official at the federal level was forced to resign when incompetence was uncovered within his or her agency? It does happen, but not frequently enough.

Government struggles to solve our most pressing problems. In fact, it can't seem to solve even the easy ones. And yet, the problems remain, and so does a rapidly growing government that can't or won't solve them.