Thursday, June 25, 2009


America is in dire need of a new crusader for smaller government. When that leader emerges he will need a posse of co-zealots that perform better than Newt's freshman class as they morphed into government as usual.

Today, more government is the preferred answer to any problem. Unfortunately, more government means more bureaucracy. Until the new Newt appears Americans should fight for "more government with no new bureaucracy". If we must, impose new mandates without new departments, agencies, and bureaus.

The financial news is rife with discussions on Obama's Systemic Risk Council and Federal regulator reorganization. We are NEVER going to get perfect government supervision so if systemic risk monitoring is worthy then lets minimize the bureaucratic impact. The Fed, with its supervision of bank holding companies, could identify and control systemic risk to the system. They should have years ago, but they didn't. The blameshift states that they couldn't do anything since they didn't supervise the AIGs, Goldmans, and GEs of the financial world. True, but they did watch JPMorgan, Citi, and BofA. They had people on site daily. If they were truly watching they could have seen the off balance sheet activities and the growing, non-regulated counterparty risks. The Fed might not have had power over AIG, but they could have told all the big banks to no longer book new deals with big non-banks. No need for a new bureaucracy, just require regulators to keep their eyes open and ACT.

The same is true for Cap And Trade. If lowering U.S. carbon emissions is good public policy, then change the standards and enforce compliance. We already have one bureaucracy tracking compliance, why duplicate matters. The taxation effect of Cap & Trade will be terrible enough, please lets not compound that mistake with a new agency.

The Big Daddy of them all is Universal Healthcare. If anyone thinks this boondoggle will arrive without huge bureaucracy, just think TSA and the thousands of Federal employees, in their new blue uniforms, that have taken over our airports. If the new Federal approach to preventative healthcare is so radically transformative, why do all the TSA screeners have body mass indexes that are off the charts?

We do have healthcare problems in America and we have a problem with the costs associated with insurance, but a government run universal program is not the best answer. I know that Obama says no one's private insurance is going away and we get to keep the same doctors, but that is just smoke and mirrors. When you take away a business' deductiblity of medical benefits and tax the recipient of company supplied medical benefits you soon end up with the government plan by default.

I'm not smart enough to design the new, ideal healthcare system, but I can sense that the way we are headed isn't going to be good. Change what needs to be changed by mandate, not takeover.

Now who's going to step up and become our next Newt?

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