Government is the problem (by Edward Inghrim)

On the air today on WHP 580 AM, Matt read a commentary by Edward Inghrim, a school board member from the Saucon Valley School District. It first appeared in the Allentown Morning Call on June 24, 2008:

Government is Not the Solution
by Edward Inghrim

Social Security is going broke. Who broke it? The federal government. Historically, when Social Security was solvent, politicians diverted surplus Social Security contributions to pay for other government programs. Thus sadly, taxpayer contributions to their retirement fund were not invested but replaced with IOUs. With an aging population and a declining worker to retiree ratio, the system will eventually go broke.

Gas prices are at an all time high. Why? The federal government discouraged domestic oil drilling, shut down nuclear plant construction and passed environmental regulations that resulting in no new oil refineries in over 30 years. Then there was the decision to divert a major food crop to fuel, which the government subsidizes, resulting not only in higher fuel costs but sharp increases in food prices and rioting in Third World countries.

The cost of electricity will explode when regulatory caps expire. Why? State government clearly didn’t understand that by not requiring power producers to expand capacity and discouraging expansion through environmental regulation eventually, prices would go up.

The housing market is collapsing. Why? The government stimulated low interest rates and encouraged mortgage lenders to find ways to open the housing market to low income buyers who normally would not qualify. The result, a building boom followed by a bust.

Health care costs are out of control? Why? The government. By creating Medicare, Medicaid and government sponsored prescription coverage, by legislating mandatory medical treatment for everyone including illegal immigrants and finally, by not legislating meaningful tort reform. Now, some politicians want to fix it with nationalized health care which, most likely, will further increase the cost and reduce the quality of health care.

Illegal immigrants flood across our border, driving up costs for social services, straining schools, increasing crimes as gangs spread across the country and threaten our national security. Why? The federal government seems reluctant to fix the problem, other than by legalizing the illegal.

The American educational system, that was once the envy of the world, is slowly spiraling downward. Why? Regulations encourage inclusion and self-esteem in the classroom, as opposed to the more traditional approach of fostering a learning environment that recognizes not all students will be nuclear scientists. Students should be encouraged to achieve their individual best by raising the bar high, as opposed to setting the bar at a level all can achieve.

In the mid 1960s, under LBJ, America declared its war on poverty. In spite of spending trillions of dollars, 40 years later poverty-level estimates range from about 12 percent to 15 percent. Why? The government has institutionalized poverty. It consumes enormous amounts of taxpayer dollars and has created a large bureaucracy at all levels of government including social workers who have no incentive to win the war but are motivated to increase welfare rolls.

Another war the government is losing is the war on drugs. Since the government is ineffectual in protecting our borders not only are we flooded with illegal immigrants, we are awash in illegal drugs. Drug abuse is increasing. Since it’s illegal to gamble unless the government sponsors it, perhaps government should get into the drug distribution business. At least, that would remove the profit motive from the illegal drug cartels.

Many people flock to Barack Obama as a savior who promises to fix Washington. His solution is more government control and more government programs. Wake up, America! Government cannot solve our problems; government is the problem. Further, if companies in private industry handled their finances like the U.S. Government they would either be bankrupt or their officers would be facing jail sentences.

Instead of being a nation of wimps longing for cradle to coffin security promised by government, let’s throw them all out and start over with a new political party that believes in the greatness and potential achievements of the people. Remember, the U.S. Constitution starts with ”We the People of the United States,” not ”We the government of the United States.”

Edward Inghrim of Lower Saucon Township is a Saucon Valley School District board member