Friday, February 3, 2006
IN MY OPINION (Column)
Hey Big Spender
By RAY HAYNES
(The writer represents the 66th Assembly District which includes portions of western Riverside County and northern San Diego County.)
I joined the Republican Party a little bit later than most, as a direct result of the messages I heard from Ronald Reagan. When I began my own business, I discovered that most of the things I had been taught in college about government were wrong. As Ronald Reagan said and I quickly learned, government was a lot like a baby a large appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other. I could find precious few government agencies that accomplished their actual mission, and none that did so efficiently. I came to the conclusion that the only way society could actually cure its ills and satisfy its needs was by finding some way other than through government bureaucracy.
The problem is that government eats up so much money. For that reason, when someone wants to help the poor through a private charity, or educate their child in a setting other than a government run school, or tries to pay for his or her own health care, that person is taking care of the problem with the crumbs from the government table. The bureaucrats and politicians eat so much, and provide so little, that they actually hurt the people they are trying to help, and those who are actually helping struggle to find the resources to do the job. The only way to solve society’s problems was to starve the government monster, and let society fill in with the resources left over. The Republicans were the only one talking about starving the monster.
What a difference a revolution makes. The party of small government seems to have forgotten its roots. I don’t wish to be too critical of my party in Congress or the governor of this state, but if the Republicans are the party of small government, I sure don’t want to see the “party of big government.” With all due respect to those who are making the spending decisions in Washington and Sacramento, they are not exercising a whole lot of restraint.
I understand the temptation. There is not much of a constituency for less spending. Whenever someone tries to restrain spending on any program, those who make money off the program howl, and the good people of society who pay for the program are silent (and therefore seem unappreciative). And, much like the momma pig who satisfies that piglet that bleats the loudest, the politicians satisfies the dogs that howl at the budget door for more money.
Of course, the politician also benefits from this transaction. Politicians obtain and maintain power by granting or withholding the benefits of big government. In fact, it is really hard to determine who the prostitute and the “John” are in this relationship since both the politician and the recipient of government largesse exchange money, power, and benefits, while the taxpayer gets the business end of the transaction.
The justification for this scheme is the great benefits the government provides to the taxpayer for the money it takes, but most taxpayers know exactly what they are getting from the politician and the recipient of government largesse, and they are not happy about it.
Since he took office, Governor Schwarzenegger has increased spending in the state by $22 billion, exactly the same as Gray Davis did in his first two years in office. The Republican-controlled Congress increased spending by 33 percent since 2000. Neither of these trends is a good thing, either for the country, for the state, or for our party. The problem is big government. Republicans promised they would starve the monster. They are not.
We are supposed to be different from them. We had better start proving it.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company