Free Markets, Free People

The newest oxymoron? “Government efficiency”

I’m always surprised by people that think government can run something better and more efficiently than a private entity.  Oh sure, there are things that are best left to government – like national defense – because it simply makes more sense when it comes to that.  But the fact that we charge them with that duty doesn’t mean they run it efficiently.

Governments have no incentive to be efficient.  We’ve talked about how, in private concerns, the profit motive provides incentive to be efficient.  In government there is no such motive.  So waste, fraud and abuse are rampant.

How rampant?  Take a look at this chart:

We’ve all been told by the Democrats that the government can help lower costs in health care.  But when you look at the 4 health care items on the chart (Medicare fee for svc, Medicaid, Medicare part C and D), you are looking at $63.5 billion … that’s with a “b” … dollars a year in “improper payment rates”.  Also look at the percentage of error.  In the EITC program, 22.7% or 12.6 billion of what they pay out is in error. (Don’t forget, the chart looks only at programs of $750 million or more a year – and we all know there are literally thousands of government programs below that threshold doing the same thing.)

Add all these up and government is making about $100 billion dollars a year in improper payments.  So if anyone wonders why I snort derisively when I hear Congress talk about a $10 billion savings over 10 years (not to mention that usually means not spending as much as they now spend) you can understand why. We’re not bleeding money at a federal level, we’re hemorrhaging it. What in the world is a 10 year $10 billion dollar “savings” worth when government is blowing a trillion dollars in 10 years via waste, fraud and abuse?

But do they actually address the problem?  No.  We’ve known about this level of waste, fraud and abuse for years … decades even.  And absolutely nothing of worth has been done to correct it.  In fact, given the amount of expansion the federal government has seen in the last decades, it’s gotten worse.  As the Mercatus Center says:

While people of good conscience on both sides of the political aisle can debate the merits of whether or not government should be involved in certain activities, none should tolerate the high levels of improper payments currently associated with government spending on social welfare programs. Federal spending has grown too massive to be adequately overseen. Waste, fraud, and abuse squanders public resources and undermines trust in government.

Indeed.  But there is one sure fire way to at least reduce this waste, given the apparent fact that government hasn’t a clue about how to reduce it.  Get government out of areas it has no business and cut spending.  Simplistic?  Not really.  That is a solution, or at least a partial solution.  I certainly understand there will be argument about the areas where government should be involved or not, but hey, crazy me, I’ve always found the Constitution provides some pretty good guidelines.  And, of course, then you have to elect legislators with both balls and a charter to do that (and who won’t succumb to “Potomac fever” when they arrive on the scene) and stay on them until they do what is necessary to accomplish the task.

Yeah, I know, not going to happen anytime soon.  People like their government cheese too much and most don’t mind at all that someone else is paying the freight.

Meanwhile this atrocious and unacceptable waste of your tax dollars will continue unabated (and likely get worse) – a victim of “government efficiency”.


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12 Responses to The newest oxymoron? “Government efficiency”

  • Obama replied, “And when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.”

  • Al Gore…management guru…reinvented government.  Years ago.
    You have to be mistaken, McQ.  Human nature changed.  Right?

  • Then there’s those dam-ned Republicans in Louisiana preventing people from using their God given EBT cards to buy jewelry, tattoos, fingernail painting, cruises and all manner of other things that the Constitution itemizes as inalienable rights.

    • Those GREEDY Republicans!!, always preventing the leaches from living out of other peoples wallets.

    • Next thing you know, those Republicans will be demanding that folks only vote once per election

  • Don’t worry about it! The lefts’ greatest Wonk just informed us this stuff doesn’t matter because the government can never run out of dollars! All problems solved!

    • Which makes me wonder – why do we have taxes if the government can’t run out of dollars?
      That kind of facile punditry is nauseating. He can’t possibly be so stupid that he doesn’t understand that producing infinite dollars drives the value of each dollar to zero. So he just uses it as a soundbite to assure leftists that their big government dreams will never run up against economic reality.
      The collapse of the blue social model is going to lead to deaths in the six figure or seven figure range, and these idiots are directly responsible for creating the conditions that will lead to the collapse. They are moral infants, unable to face or deal with the consequences of their comfortable fictions.

      • Hey, Weimar Germany never ran out of money either, and things worked out just swell for them right???

        “The collapse of the blue social model is going to lead to deaths in the six figure or seven figure range, and these idiots are directly responsible for creating the conditions that will lead to the collapse”

        >>> Yes. Which is why there’s an incredibly high probability that those idiots are going to be among those figures, and pretty early on too.  A few reminders of their actions in the right places and the mob will take care of the rest. And based on history and human nature, I can pretty much guarantee both the mob – and someone taking payback by  siccing them — will be common.

        It’s gonna get ugly.

      • Wow Billy !  That’s profound

  • Obviously, all of government is theater

    It looks like the National Science Foundation has been handing out grants for some unorthodox research projects, according to House Republicans. This includes $700,000 in funding for a climate change musical.
    The Music Mann? With a capitol T and that rhymes with P and that stands for Phool….or Phraud?