Monday, February 8, 2016
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Preview the Paper Preview the Paper

Preview this week's Paper
A limited number of pages are displayed in this preview.
Preview this Week’s Issue ›
Subscribe Today ›

Lost & Found

*Includes FREE photo online! mywcn.com/lostandfound
Lost: Female German Shepherd, 2 years old, pink collar. Lost from Hickory Hill/Great Oaks area off FM539, La Vernia on Thurs. Feb. 4 Reward! (830) 947-3465
Lost: Male Red Nose Pit Bull, "Chevy," wearing an orange collar, friendly, last seen on County Road 403. 830-477-6511 or 830-534-9094.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

General labor position for local home builder, must have drivers license, driving trailers, clean up, carpentry work, etc., starting at $10. 210-279-4123.
Hiring seasonal workers at Braunig and Calaveras Lake. Apply within or call 210-635-8289.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›
RE/MAX homeTNMCRichardson Chevrolet home
You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.

Section A: General News


Editorial: We really cannot afford cheap politicians




E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story
Thomas Sowell
October 10, 2012 | 1,173 views | 2 comments

Now that the National Football League has apparently learned that it can be costly to hire cheap officials, perhaps the rest of us should learn the same lesson when it comes to government officials, whose bad calls can do a lot more damage.

What do we do when we want a better car, a better home, or a better bottle of wine? We pay more for it. We definitely need a lot better crop of public officials. Yet we insist on paying flea market prices for people who will be spending trillions of tax dollars, not to mention making foreign policy that can either safeguard or jeopardize the lives of millions of Americans.

Any successful engineer, surgeon, or financier would have to take a big pay cut to serve in Congress. A top student from a top law school can get a starting salary that is more than we pay a Supreme Court justice.

No doubt many, if not most, government officials are already paid more than they are worth. But the whole point of higher pay is to get better people to replace them.

We may say that we want people in Congress, the courts, or the White House who have some serious knowledge and experience in the real world, not just glib tricksters who know how to pander for votes. But we don’t put our money where our mouth is.

Let’s face it. You’re not likely to get a good suit of clothes at a flea market. And you’re not likely to get the cream of the crop to go into the government when they would have to accept a big drop in income to do so.

There are always going to be warm bodies available to fill the jobs in government. We have lots of warm bodies there now. There will also always be some people who are willing to sacrifice their family’s economic security and standard of living, in order to get their hands on the levers of power.

These are precisely the kinds of people whom it is dangerous to have holding the levers of power.

Can we afford to pay members of Congress, the president of the United States, and federal judges the kinds of money that would enable us to tap a far wider pool of far more knowledgeable people with successful real-world experience? We can’t afford not to. Cheap politicians are expensive in their reckless spending of tax money. It is the ultimate in being penny-wise and pound-foolish.

To get some idea of the cost, ask yourself: How much would it cost to pay every member of Congress, the president, and every federal judge a million dollars a year?

There are 535 members of Congress, so a salary of a million dollars a year would cost $535 million, or just over half a billion dollars. There are 188 federal appellate judges and one president of the United States. That’s 189 more people, bringing the total number of people to 724, and the total cost to $724 million, at a time when people in Washington are talking trillions.

That is less than 1 percent of the annual cost of the Department of Agriculture. Put differently, we could pay all of these 724 officials a million dollars a year each -- for an entire century -- for less than it costs to run the Department of Agriculture for one year.

If we limited how long any given individual could hold office in the government -- preferably one term -- we could have highly knowledgeable people with real-world experience in charge of taking care of the nation’s business, instead of spending their time doing things to get re-elected.

They would be a lot harder for special interests to bribe with campaign contributions, when high officials would face no more campaigns after getting elected. We don’t need career politicians.

The best crop of public officials this country has ever had were in the generation that founded the United States of America. Most of the Founders had careers outside of politics.

Is all this a realistic prospect in the world today? Of course not! What is the most realistic prospect today is the status quo today.

But the New Deal was not a realistic prospect three years before Franklin D. Roosevelt took office. It was not a realistic prospect in 1775 that the American colonies would become an independent nation a year later. The whole point of discussing new ideas is to get people thinking about them, so that they might become realistic prospects in the future.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His website is http://www.tsowell.com. Copyright 2012 creators.com
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
October 10, 2012 11:11am
 
You can't pay a greedy politician or a crook enough to keep them honest. Re wall street manipulators.

 
The Marcelina Muse  
Dry Tank, TX  
October 10, 2012 8:54am
 
But Thomas the way it's done now allows members of Congress to become multi-millionaires. Why would they want to take a cut? Course with the higher pay members probably wouldn't steal and take kick-backs. Oh wait. That's your ... More ›

Share your comment or opinion on this story!


You must be logged in to post a comment.




Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

Section A: General News Archives


Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Agencies uncover $400K in stolen vehicles, parts (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. China Grove begins vote on tax rollback (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Clock running out for Floresville recall issue (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Connally expands high-tech health care (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Council action changes boards (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Court Update (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Deputies charge Floresville spurned lover with arson (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Deputies investigate recent thefts (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: The demand for villains (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: What’s in a city charter? Is it like a … Constitution? (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Eight-liner opponents face deadline (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. FELPS pools tornado damage claim with city, Floresville ISD (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville USDA accountant resigns (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Free CERT disaster course (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Get a free heart health screening in Kenedy Feb. 12 (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Greater LV Chamber to meet (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. H-E-B recalls cookware (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Hold on for now (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. It’s all happening at Nixon-Smiley Elementary (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Kicaster area will have fire coverage (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Landfill welcomes China Grove junk (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Apple Pie author extends thanks (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Gonzales differs with writer’s conclusion (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Talamantez truly a man of the people (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Life Line Screening event set in Floresville Feb. 28 (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Mock Republican Debate Feb. 20 (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Nixon-Smiley livestock show set for March (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. One dead in game-room robbery (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Pioneer Award honors Burnside (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Pirates Cove in Poth offers after-school care service (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police Blotter (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Save the date for Lincoln Dinner (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. School district cops ink deal with city, county (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Second responders to meet (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Stockdale, La Vernia units respond to back-to-back fires (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Tanneberger is top agent (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Weigh in on Loop 410 changes (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Wilson County Hermann Sons lodges meet new-member goal (February 3, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. ‘Loving’ heart-shaped treats are for the birds (February 3, 2016)