There is only one presidential candidate left in the race that a) is talking about reducing the size, scope and power of the federal government; and b) has a reasonable chance of winning in November: Donald J. Trump.
Trump wants to dismantle Obamacare and implement a fairer, cheaper way to buy health insurance; repeal it’s equally massive financial regulatory cousin, Dodd-Frank; substantially reform our complex, weaponized tax code; lift energy production restrictions; and change immigration rules that put Americans – and American jobs – first.
His principle opponent, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, won’t do any of those things. She would double down on Obamacare, raise taxes on the job creators, double down again on investment-killing Wall Street “reform,” and do nothing to reign in an out-of-control monster called the federal bureaucracy. In fact, she will use the latter in the manner in which Obama has used it – to sidestep the Legislative Branch whenever and wherever possible.
The last thing our country needs is another chief executive who wants to expand the size and scope of the federal leviathan, as well as a Congress too frightened of bad press to stand in her way.
Because the fact is, our government is too big and too unwieldy to manage or control. Case in point: FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Some years after the disaster that was Hurricane Katrina, which wiped out a large swath of New Orleans in August 2005, Congress, in 2014, finally mandated that these two agencies adopt measures aimed at dramatically improving waterway safety while guarding against excessive flooding.
Since that time, very little has been done. And what’s worse, everyone is pointing fingers at everyone else.
A recent report from the General Accounting Office found that almost none of the federally mandated recommendations – including creating voluntary national levee safety guidelines, in addition to providing technical and financial incentives to state, local and tribal governments to increase safety and public awareness – have been completed.
FEMA and the Corps blame lawmakers for not providing them any funding. The Department of Homeland Security, under which FEMA falls, blamed flood levees for flooding.
In the end, GAO found, “The agencies have taken no action on the remaining key national levee- safety-related activities for which they were responsible and have missed several statutory deadlines for developing guidelines and reports.”
Bottom line: Mandates were issued for these agencies to get busy implementing plans and policies aimed at protecting land and lives – and they haven’t.
And it doesn’t look like they’re going to any time soon. That’s worse than unacceptable; it’s criminal (or it ought to be).
If any private citizen had been mandated by Congress or a federal agency to perform a duty or carry out a task and didn’t, they would be charged, arrested, fined and/or jailed. But apparently the federal agencies themselves have grown beyond accountability.
Congress is no help. Lawmakers are on autopilot when it comes to funding this incompetence; they claim there is “nothing they can do” but fund them, even though our founders gave the Legislative Branch the power of the purse. Short of “holding hearings” in which federal bureaucrats openly mock or defy legislators, Congress is impotent in the face of this inertia and appears to have no real interest in stripping power away from unelected officials while holding them responsible for failures.
Presidents are no help. They enable the bureaucracy by empowering it to act independently of Congress. Federal agencies are pretty much left to determine their own scope of power and authority, holding both Congress and voters hostage.
This federal government of ours simply does not work anymore, folks. It hasn’t worked in decades and as each passing year proves, it becomes less and less functional, less and less capable of even carrying out basic mandates. And no one is holding anyone to account.
The bureaucracy is too big, too powerful, and too self-preserving to serve the people it was assembled to serve. Like the budgets that feed it, the bureaucracy itself is also on autopilot.
It’s time to elect candidates who are serious about cutting this monster down to size. It has to happen, else we’re going to be consumed by its insatiable appetite for our money and our liberty. We either start this election cycle or resign ourselves to lives of permanent servitude.
Only one viable presidential candidate is at least talking the talk.