06 April 2011

Thoughts of the Day, April 6 Edition

It is somewhat humorous to me (in a gallows humor sort of way) that the government's idea of compromise is reducing the amount of money they are going to spend on one thing in favor of spending it on another.

At no time is either party discussing reducing the amount of money they are going to forcibly remove from my pocket. Appropos of nothing, I suppose, the amount of money I pay in a month to state, federal and payroll taxes exceeds the amount of money I pay in a month to my mortgage holder.

Also, if the much-dreaded government shut-down is only going to affect non-essential services, why is the government providing such services in the first place?

There's an idea for places to swing the budget cutting axe for you...


Anonymous said...

Well, now...I agree with you more often than not...

..but I guess I'm one of those non-essential - and therefore unnecessary - Federal workers that should be let go (along with my organization). I work for an outfit which will have most of the staff likely furloughed here very shortly. So perhaps Congress should cut our outfit out of the budget entirely.

OK. I don't totally disagree and most of my many years in this profession were spent on the other side of the government contracts - so I understand the "commercial" side of things - although I don't really see a civilian use for much of what I work on.

I'm not in one of the military branches - but I do work on research and development that leads to making "toys for the boys". (I prefer the concept of putting 25lbs of explosives where I want it from a distance rather than dropping 2000lbs "somewhere close")

I guess I feel I serve my country as much as anyone in the military branches - I simply don't carry a weapon or face the same degree of danger. And I don't ask for or expect the degree of consideration that should be given to those that do.

But does that make my service less valuable?

I apply specialized skills to specialized problems of concern to my nation's government (I'm not discussing some of the directions my government chooses to point us in...)

I'm also a believer in veteran's benefits. I don't think my government always lives up to its promises to veterans. But I suspect most of those veteran's benefits workers will be furloughed as well.

Do you enjoy your well-deserved benefits? - or should Congress flat-out fire those people and shut down their organizations because they are deemed "non-essential" at this time?

I'm seeing a lot of "if they're non-essential, get rid of them" blogs - many of the "small-L" libertarian, pro-gun, pro-military sites - in the past few days. Without much thinking of what that really means.

Yes, what I do can be done by private enterprise. As such, and if this is what people want, we would likely need and have customers all over the world. I personally prefer to have a captive "customer" for my work - the United States government.

It's your blog - off my soapbox now.
(I'm beginning to think I should do as Guffaw and get my own site - but I couldn't do the daily thing)


Larry said...

Neal Boortz says if we agree on everything one of us is unnecessary.

I survived the military drawdown during the Clinton years (our reward for winning the cold war was to have everything cut except for commitments), and the military is one of the things the USG is constitutionally responsible for. As much as it pains me to say so, Clinton was actually good for the US Military because he made us live within our means - and then he limited our means. It made us much leaner and more efficient as a result. It hurt, but it was necessary.

You said it yourself, you would likely have customers all over the world. I would hazard a guess that the USG would pay a handsome premium to retain your services, perhaps a handsomer one to retain exclusive services. If your organization is deemed vital to national defense, well that is one of the things the US Government is constitutionally responsible for.

No one's sacred cow is safe. My "well deserved benefits" at the present moment consists of retired pay, but I'm guessing you are referring to the VA. I think the VA would be much more efficient as a private enterprise that contracts to the USG.

At any rate, ask some WW2 vet how he is enjoying his "health care for life" that his recruiter promised him so long ago and Congress converted to Medicare. I'm not betting on having the pension I'm drawing right now in the future either, any more than I'm betting on having Social Security. That way all my surprises will be pleasant ones.

Most USG services could be better done and at a cheaper price by private enterprise. There is a reason the Government's powers and responsibilities were limited and enumerated in the Constitution. We haven't followed that document in quite some time, and it will be painful to get back to it. Painful, but I believe necessary if we are going to survive as a Republic.

It doesn't cost a thing to set up a spot on Blogspot, and you don't have to post every day. Just be sure to send me a link so I can put you on the sidebar if you do decide to make the jump.

Good luck to you, and thanks for dropping by!

Anonymous said...

And we had a surplus when Clinton left office...

Thanks for responding. Got up on your soapbox to spout off. Yep, USG needs to cut back - but man, you've been there. It's all the unnecessary paperwork - and people that only shuffle that paper - that costs so much...

I know of a specific case here where one part for an unmanned, non-mission critical project cost $150,000. Another "unqualified" part did the job better and only cost $400. Maybe use 4 for redundancy - still be only 1% of the cost. The "necessary" paperwork and review process to use the $400 part makes the $150,000 part cheaper.


Larry said...

Our government at work.
Thanks for dropping by!

Human Person Junior, Jr. said...

Good points between yourself and DRD. However, I saw your primary concern as the shuffling around of money, as opposed to reducing the actual outlays.

One day soon, when my blog is in better condition, I'll link to you, but I certainly don't require reciprocity. Thanks for the good reads!

Larry said...

That's right HPJ, I would prefer to see the size and scope of government reduced to it's Constitutional levels, all other functions can be taken up by private industry.
My links are here mostly for my convenience so I will link to you just so I can get over to see what you're up to.
Thanks for dropping by!