The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

March 4, 2013

Small government costs

Daily Item

---- — Big government may raise taxes, but it costs less; and smaller government may keep taxes down, but it costs more. Smaller government is penny-wise and dollar-foolish.

When government agencies aren't adequately funded or properly staffed, they can't perform the function for which they were created. The Internal Revenue Service and the Securities and Exchange Commission are just two examples.

Historically, when there is a Republican president, the IRS is inadequately funded and understaffed. Fewer audits are performed with less tax collected, and the audits are more likely to be done on those with lower and modest incomes, not on the wealthy.

The SEC during the Bush II administration operated on a bare bones budget and was staffed by incompetent bureaucrats and political hacks. As a result, Wall Street collapsed and the stock market crashed because of weak regulations and lax enforcement of rules.

Does a $700 billion bailout of Wall Street by President Bush ring a bell? Of course, this was followed by an $800 billion stimulus by President Obama that saved the economy from falling into a deep depression. Both actions increased the national debt considerably.

The cost of the bailout and the stimulus combined cost taxpayers $1.5 trillion because of a smaller government that didn't save taxpayers one penny, but it sure cost a lot more dollars. In addition to failing to protect consumers and investors and reducing tax revenue that increased the national debt, smaller government also damaged the environment.

Government is a service, not a business. Successful businessmen wouldn't consider operating a private enterprise the same way that smaller government is operated because they know that it would cost more in the long run.

David L. Faust, Selinsgrove