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Tell It Like It Is

What Does The Government Do Well?

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Thomas Segel is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or

Tell It Like It Is
March 18, 2011 | 1,711 views | 3 comments

Harlingen, Texas, March 18, 2011: A young veteran of my acquaintance is getting very frustrated with our government. He has been trying to get his educational benefits for the past six months and still hasn’t seen a check in the mail. While on active duty he suffered through repeated deployments, far in excess of what should be required of any soldier. Now, out of uniform, he must do battle again just to obtain promised benefits. I am sure the words I had for him were anything but comforting. I let him know that historically veterans and military retirees had to fight until exhausted just to hold a grip on the beachhead of every benefit they had been promised.

When he doubted that statement, I asked him to name anything the government does well. The same question should be directed to any individual who places faith and confidence in any government action. If it is some task being performed by a government agency, you can most likely name several private groups that could take over the work and do it easier, quicker, and give you better quality for less money.

The government is good at collecting taxes some say. In truth, we would have a better payment record if we went to a national sales tax and individually counted out our contributions at each purchase. Currently the IRS tries, often with the brutal force of law, to collect every dime owed by the public. They still average just a little over 80% success, with an estimated $300 billion owed each year going uncollected.

The armed forces are the most respected of all people who wear the government label, but are those in uniform the most effective? Perhaps on an individual or small unit level most of them are. But, waste exists everywhere in the military. Political lackeys with stars on their shoulders have contaminated leadership. To impress the Washington bureaucrats and politicos, military leaders “follow orders” and try to go to war on the cheap when they know in their heart of hearts they should be using overwhelming force to get the job done and vacate the battlefield. Instead, we have young men and women making three, four and more deployments into combat.

Well, how about the incompetent city, county and state officials who have managed to run up massive debt in almost every state of the union...are they doing a good Job? You already know the answer to that question. We also know the sorry record of Congress and the actions of the Executive Branch that are a study in stupid. Even the judicial gang does not get a good report card. Decisions that were made in courts across the country have repeatedly reflected activism instead of interpretation of the law.

We know that Homeland Security is doing a pitiful job in all of its extended venues. Is cargo safe? No. Are airports safe? Thousands of private fields have no security at all. Is the border safe? Ha! How about Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid... Have they all been fixed? No! And the Postal Service is a mess too!

Any time an attempt is made to have huge centralized control of goods and resources the situation becomes nothing but trouble waiting to happen. When trying to rule from Washington things develop much akin to the extended supply lines of the military or business. The further away things are, the longer they take to reach the consumer or the individual in need. The only solution is for the federal government to return those unconstitutional powers to the states...and the states in turn can return those powers to the people. After all, you and I were always more capable of taking care of ourselves than we were at allowing someone else to do the job for us.

Semper Fidelis
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Your Opinions and Comments

Ken Semlinger  
Poth, TX  
March 23, 2011 10:09am
And then, most of the time, the politicians screw up the mission.

4th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Springs  
March 22, 2011 1:36pm
The only thing the Government does well is raise, equip, and deploy the military. Outside of that, I'm hard pressed to think of anything positive that they do well.

Ken Semlinger  
Poth, TX  
March 22, 2011 11:54am
I guess the lack of comment answers your question "What does the government do well'.

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