Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Opinion: Stop Government Disaster Relief

The following is an opinion piece submitted to The Eye by Ken McClellan, CHAIRMAN of the Republican Town Committee.
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I've heard that there's nothing new under the sun and that history repeats itself. It amazes, and sometimes disturbs me that some of the things I see going on in our country happened before. We need to know history. We need to be informed of the past. As Edmund Burke said: "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." Many people in many societies have tried many systems of government and many systems of economics. We need to study which ones have worked, and which have not and why. Repeating failed experiments is a waste of time and resources. President Obama and Governor Malloy have not studied history or economics. Both are pushing for larger government, more taxes. Here is a statement of fact: No society, anywhere, anytime has ever taxed itself into prosperity. It doesn't work. Never has and never will. President Obama and Governor Malloy may be highly intelligent people, but even they can't make it work. Another statement of fact: The larger the government, the less free the people and the less prosperous is the society. Again, history shows time and again, as a society increases the size of it's government, ie employees, prosperity and freedoms decrease. A larger government requires more resources, which removes those resources from the private sector, and doesn't produce a tangible return. The more layers of administration you have, the less money goes to the end result. As an example take disaster relief. Tax money is distributed by the federal government to state governments. A staff is needed to decide how much to give to the state, if any. Studies are needed to determine where resources are most needed, thus spending a significant percentage of the money earmarked for disaster relief. Next the state gets an amount of money, studies where the resources are needed, divides it up, taking another chunk for administrative costs. The state solicits bids for supplies, equipment and labor. The bids are evaluated, a company is selected and the money is spent, again costing money in salaries. Compare that to a volunteer charity, like the Salvation Army. All funding goes directly to the disaster area, in the form of building supplies, food, blankets and water, along with volunteers to distribute it. The result is near 100% of the money actually gets to the people who need it. Private companies continually try to reduce the administrative overhead; charities are rated on their percentage of overhead. Why should the government not operate under the same rules? Historians, Liberals and Economists are all welcome to challenge this assertion. Show me one example where the reverse is true, for either of my statements. You can't. Because big government and high taxes have never worked. President Obama and Governor Malloy can't make it work, either. Albert Einstein defined insanity as performing the same action repeatedly, expecting a different result. I wonder sometimes, are the President, Governor and their supporters unaware or ignorant of history, or do they believe that they can create a different result with the same process? Ignorant or insane? I think either should disqualify someone from holding a position of responsibility. I'll close with a final quote, from Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman statesman, 106-43 BC: "When a government becomes powerful it is destructive, extravagant and violent; it is an usurer which takes bread from innocent mouths and deprives honorable men of their substance, for votes with which to perpetuate itself".

12 comments:

Julia said...

Mr. McClellan's fact is not a fact: "No society, anywhere, anytime has ever taxed itself into prosperity."
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/opinion/sunday/do-tax-cuts-lead-to-economic-growth.html?_r=0

Anonymous said...

Your talking points are wonderful, but sorely lacking in facts.

1. Taxes are at a 30 year low under President Obama http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/185847/fact-tax-rates-are-at-a-30-year-low-under-obama/

2. George W. Bush led the largest government expansion since FDR.
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2010/08/americas_peculiar_amnesia.html

3. President Obama and FEMA have handled the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy magnificently. Disaster relief is not a liberal/conservative political argument. It is a human necessity, and those of us living in the most prosperous country in the world have come to expect that our government will have our backs when these types of tragedies occur. We don't live in a Banana Republic.

Jennifer Peifer

David Schulz said...

I didn't realize the Red Cross had the capabilities to rebuild destroyed roads, bridges, seawalls etc.

cybermom said...

The Salvation Army is a religious group.
The Salvation Army is a Christian denomination and international movement ... Its objects are "the advancement of the Christian religion…

Do you want a religious group to lead a relief organization?

Anonymous said...

Glad I'm not this guy's neighbor.

Anonymous said...

Ummm....hate to point out the obvious sir but the Salvation Army has to pay people to buy the building supplies and bottled water just like the local governments. Surely you do realize that, or do you also think that the stuff appears by divine intervention?

Anonymous said...

Funny how the Republican party is all for eliminating federal disaster assistance until they are the ones who need it. Ask Gov. Christie whether he thinks New Jersey could rely on the Salvation Army handling the recovery operations in New Jersey. I am pretty sure he would rather have the Army Corp of Engineers.

Tree Fanatic said...

I strongly urge Mr. McClellan to look into the use of paragraph breaks. Completely free of government intervention and of taxes -- this wonderful innovation helps the reader enormously.

Anonymous said...

This is satire, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

"Taxes are at a 30 year low under President Obama". Have you checked your taxes lately? Federal? State and Local? Lower for Who because my taxes the last 4 years have been at an all time high and my salary has gone down.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:34 am

Then you're doing them wrong.

Anonymous said...

Petty Treefanatic- I thought you were above attacking people of different political views but no, I guess not.
I will no longer be reading your column I so enjoyed.