A Sound Jobs Plan: 'Pull' the Federal Government
Michael S. Rozeff
by Michael S. Rozeff: Rollover
Risk and American†Hegemony
Obama has sent
to Congress a 199-page
jobs plan. Experience shows that all such plans are filled with
stupid and unsound ideas. They all are abominations. Congress debates
them and likewise ends up with an abomination.
My jobs plan,
which is a smart, sound and comprehensive plan, is breathtakingly
simple: end the federal government. The reason is that this government
has become too large, too complex, too powerful, too subject to
special interests, and too intrusive. It is too totalitarian now
and becoming more so. All of this is to the great detriment of most
of those who live in America.
to end the federal government is not under discussion by Americaís
opinion-makers and opinion-expressers and, if it were being discussed,
it would be dismissed as an impossibility.
it is a right thing to do and it may be one of the few right things
that can produce an enduringly sound America.
federal government allows people more freely to live their lives.
This includes more freely arranging their health, education, welfare,
security, economy, and jobs as they see fit. That this freedom will
improve most peopleís lives is a proposition that has been known
for centuries. It is a proposition that is still fairly widely known.
It may even be known by a majority of persons, at least at some
times and in some places. Remarkably, it is also one of the most
ignored propositions when it comes to governing.
proposition, that the government control everything it possibly
can, is the totalitarian view. Its negative results find fairly
frequent historical expression, even in the 20th century.
When such burdensome government control is lifted or even ameliorated,
improvements in living conditions are rapid and noticeable, but
of course it is essential that people have the freedom to move about,
to exchange goods and services, and to communicate with those who
have superior knowledge in order to be able to bring about such
If ending the
whole affair is too large an order, I can present numerous alternatives
to ending the federal government, each of which ends a portion of
the federal government. My general rule is that any proposal that
ends any portion of the federal government is a smart and sound
proposal. By the same token, any proposal that maintains or increases
any portion of the federal government is harmful.
poison from the system is better than removing no poison. Partial
success is better than no success.
that brings the federal government back to where it was in the year
2000, or the year 1980, or the year 1960, or the year 19xx will
be an improvement. If the American people managed with the smaller
federal governments of those years, it can do so again. Smaller
government is feasible as well as being better.
government as a whole is an abomination. This is because its component
parts are likewise abominations.
No matter what
list of partial remedies I present, it will be far from complete
because there are so many government programs and bureaucracies,
so many regulations, so many treaties, so much money sloshing around,
and so many taxes and tax rules. All of these are abominable.
Still, a few
general examples are in order. They follow the order of importance
that each activity has in the federal budget, excluding the payment
of interest (see here).
Interest payments will automatically decline when the spending items
are cut because debt issuance will decline.
defense spending to $0. I intend to shock. Too radical? Then consider
reducing it by a large and significant amount. We all know what
this means: end the empire.
love their empire. There is this quite pervasive and stubborn cluster
of ideas that fuse patriotism, love of and respect for the military,
American superiority, American ignorance of foreign peoples, American
exceptionalism, and American fears and insecurities. Things havenít
changed that much since George M. Cohan wrote "Over
There". He told us the "Yanks are coming...Weíll be
over, weíre coming over, And we wonít come back till itís over,
health care spending to $0. This means, among other things, ending
Medicare and Medicaid.
love the idea of medical security and federalized health care programs.
Many Americans are aware that there are severe problems in the health
care sector. However, far fewer connect these two and understand
that the federalized health care programs have caused the severe
problems. A good many people understand this but still love the
idea of medical security so much that they support constant tinkering
with the federal programs, even though it is to no avail.
welfare spending to $0. This means ending unemployment compensation,
food stamps, housing, and other income security programs.
"other spending" to $0. This means ending such items as
spending on agriculture, fuel and energy, economic affairs, community
development, protection of biodiversity, pollution abatement, and
spending on education to $0. This means ending federal spending
on pre-primary through secondary education, spending on tertiary
education, and spending on "education not definable by level".
The latter are the governmentís words.
spending on transportation to $0.
spending on protection to $0. This includes police services, law
courts, and prisons.
will think that I am going too far. But keeping the federal government
intact (and expanding) means remaining mired in a hopeless pit of
darkness. With respect to the monstrosity known as the federal government,
there is only one progressive way to go, and Iíve just outlined
it. Dissolve it. End it, wholly or partially.
federal government ends federal spending. This is not the whole
story. Ending the federal government also ends federal regulations.
This is of tremendous importance.
For an overall
view of federal regulations, one may usefully consult the document
written by Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr titled Ten
Thousand Commandments. The Code of Federal Regulations had
22,877 pages in 1960. By 1980 it had 102,195 pages. At year-end
2009, it had 157,974 pages.
Even the 22,877
pages in 1960 were 22,877 pages too many.
reform can mean only one thing: reducing government spending and
regulations. The more the merrier.
like those of Obama are useless. They simply prolong the agony.
They keep in place the restrictive paradigm that places the federal
government at the apex of American life, giving it outlandish powers
of control that harm most Americans. This is not freedom.
Page 6 of Obamaís
proposal already shows the stupidity and complexity of U.S. laws
as well as the impact of special interest groups on these laws.
It announces that any funds under the program that are spent on
public work must use iron, steel, and manufactured goods produced
in the United States. Loopholes follow immediately. If a federal
department head deems that this would be "inconsistent with
the public interest", he may buy elsewhere; or if the iron,
steel, or goods arenít manufactured in the U.S., he may buy elsewhere.
Or if such purchases will "increase the cost of the overall
project by more than 25 percent", then he can buy non-American
but if so he must provide "a detailed written justification".
I mean, really.
This is all so incredibly inane. It merely demonstrates that sound
government is really an impossibility.
The same page
contains a provision, like the buy American provision, that is by
now boilerplate in all such federal legislation. It says that any
money dispensed under this program that is used to hire people must
pay those people "wages at rates not less than those prevailing
on projects of a character similar in the locality as determined
by the Secretary of Labor" etc.
I have the
feeling I am reading the burdensome pronouncements of some French
monarch of the 16th or 17th century or some
silly regulations of English law-makers of past centuries. Nothing
has changed. Governments that collect money and spend it are nothing
more than open season for hunters (looters) in the country who prey
on their neighbors through such provisions. The U.S. government
is one huge example of such looting and oppression. It deserves
to be dissolved at the earliest possible moment.
One of the
centerpieces in the Obama plan is a temporary cut in certain payroll
taxes, that is, reducing the money that would otherwise go for Social
Security. He then makes up for it by appropriations from the general
fund, i.e., taxes in general. Lower taxes with the right hand, and
raise taxes with the left hand. Who needs this idiocy?
plan is a joke, but so have been the economic plans that the federal
government has been enacting for decades under many presidents and
Congresses. This endless tinkering is getting us nowhere. We are
come out now that tell us that median family income is lower now
than it was in 1996. These numbers do not tell the whole sad story
by any means.
The idea that
government solves social and economic problems is deeply flawed.
The opposite idea is far more accurate: government creates and exacerbates
social and economic problems. It is virtually impossible objectively
to look at the theory and evidence concerning government behavior
without reaching this conclusion.
in general hate the idea of totalitarian governments. We would be
hard put to find even a few among the influential journalists, bloggers,
intellectuals and opinion-makers who say that totalitarian government
is a good thing. Yet nearly all support pieces, and sometimes many
pieces, of the totalitarian activities of government. This is another
reason for condemning the whole structure and subjecting it to controlled
it. "Pull" the federal government.
best thing that can be done for American jobs.
S. Rozeff [send him mail]
is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York.
He is the author of the free e-book Essays
on American Empire: Liberty vs. Domination and the free e-book
The U.S. Constitution
and Money: Corruption and Decline.
© 2011 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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