Tags: US | Government | IRS | Scandal

US Government Too Big — and Still Failing

Thursday, 06 Jun 2013 05:09 PM

By Bradley A. Blakeman

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How can we forget the slogan “too big to fail” as the excuse for the U.S. taxpayer to bail out banks and auto companies from their own gross incompetence?

It was a shocking revelation that the taxpayer had to guarantee the abuses of big banks, insurance companies, auto companies, and financial services businesses because letting them fail would be disastrous to our national economy.

Now we are faced with yet more examples of bigger is not necessarily better. The abuses by the IRS in the targeting of Americans for their political and social advocacy, the reckless spending of funds for lavish conferences, the agency’s lack of leadership, poor record keeping and culture of corruption and incompetency to name a few.

In addition to the IRS scandal, we see the cover-up and finger pointing in the lead up and aftermath of the terrorist attack in Benghazi; the targeting of the press by the Justice Department in the name of national security without adequate excuse; the governing by executive order in disregard of Congress; the shake down by the secretary of Health & Human Services of entities she regulates to help fund ad campaigns to advance Obamacare; the passing of 3,000 page bills that no one reads; a government that cannot produce an annual budget; and the list goes on and on proving that our federal government is not serving the people as it should.

Our federal government has become too big — yet is still managing to fail.

It is unconscionable that our federal government has gotten so big, so cumbersome, so ineffective, so corrupt and so costly. The government that purports to serve the people has turned on them.

A majority of Americans believe that government is too big and not effective in service and cost. The latest scandals at the IRS are perfect examples of these concerns.

I can guarantee you that the IRS abuses are but a microcosm of what is going on in every government agency. Remember the abuses that were uncovered at the GSA last year?

Their lavish spending on conferences, lack of record keeping, culture of corruption and contempt for the taxpayer was almost identical to the latest revelations at the IRS.

Now is the time for Congress through its oversight and appropriations responsibilities to call for a review of every federal agency.

Lawmakers should cut the budgets of every agency by 10 percent across the board for starters and instill a culture of service — not self-service to the American people. There must be accountability and responsibility, and consequences re-instilled in every federal employee.

We should use the opportunity of the latest revelations of government waste and abuse to reduce the size, scope and mission of government services. This would be the perfect time to evaluate the need for government — the test should be need not want for government services. If a service cannot be justified it should go.

America is still recovering from the worst recession since the Great Depression. We cannot afford a government that is not responsive to the needs of the people and government officials whose first allegiance is to themselves as opposed to the people they are supposed to serve.

The latest revelations of IRS abuses should enrage every American regardless of party affiliation. These abuses cannot be defended or justified.

Congressman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, summed up the anger of the American people at a hearing on IRS abuses:

"I swear to God, I have looked at that video over and over again and I swear I do not see the redeeming value," he said. "The money that was spent on that — that's my money."

Referencing his hardworking constitutuents who struggle to get by, he added, "the lady up the street who got the early bus this morning . . . that's her money . . . The gentleman up the street from me who makes $45,000 hauling trash — that's their money. And so it was wasted."

The main role of Congress and the executive branch is to prevent bad things from happening not merely respond to them when they occur.

Now is the time for Congress to come to the aid of the people and to fix a federal government that is too big and continually failing its citizens.

Bigger is not better.

Our government should only do for the people what we cannot do for ourselves and what it undertakes in the service of the people should be done based on need, service, respect, responsibility, accountability, and consequences for actions and inactions.

Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of Politics and Public Policy at Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to Fox News Opinion. Read more reports from Bradley Blakeman — Click Here Now.

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