Today marks our 4th annual State of the Government address. In our initial analysis, we made the following primary observations:
The State of the Government is too partisan.
The State of the Government is too influenced by money.
The State of the Government is too big.
The State of the Government is financially imbalanced.
The State of the Government is too far removed from the Constitution.
The following conclusion has also been expressed these past 4 years: “The State of the Government has digressed over several decades, and until we responsibly address partisanship, special interests, size, spending, and straying from the Constitution, we will be challenged to admit even the Union is strong.” My strong sense is the above is still true; the question is what can we do.
Government is too partisan. Pre-speech analysis from multiple, varied sources suggest that Pres. Obama’s speech will be aggressively progressive this evening. As Politico states, the President will “pay lip service to bipartisanship, but don’t expect anything like the call for peaceful collaboration that defined his first address to a joint session of Congress in 2009.” Is the partisanship right? Is it wrong? Let me not answer the question; let me only ask another: does this approach help? Rightly or wrongly, during both the Obama and most recent Bush administration, the partisan divide has only gotten bigger. If persons within either party or the media have intentionally drummed up partisan passion in order to propel one side of the divide, then they have done an ethical disservice to our country.
Government is too influenced by money. Sticks and stones seem to fly on this issue, with people blaming one person or party or a singular judicial decision. Based on objective research, it’s my conclusion that the moral digression due to money increased exponentially during the Carter administration, when lobbyist restrictions were significantly eased. Until lobbyist monies are again restricted, the purity of our democratic process will continue to be obscured.
Government is too big. Let me make this is as simple as possible. Who watches their pennies more: a small business on a tight budget… or a massive conglomerate with no budget? The nonpartisan CBO projects the cost of the federal government to be $47.2 trillion over the next 10 years. That’s an annual growth rate of approximately 6.7%, trouncing the growth of the private sector. In a government that was created for the people and by the people, it was never intended to do all things for all people. There is no way $47.2 trillion is being spent effectively. And there is no way all those pennies are being counted.
Government is financially imbalanced. Whether monies are spent on war or domestic programs, the government continues to spend. They don’t balance their budget; they don’t even have a budget. No business entity that attempts to operate with continued deficit spending for this long with zero plan to pay it back would be allowed to exist. The elect continue to simply kick the plan for balanced spending down the road. Is it because, as some say, in this economic state, we can’t do that right now? Or, as I believe, do they avoid cutting spending in the sake of political expediency? Let’s balance the budget. Let’s make a plan. Let’s stick to it… like every other wise, existing household in this country.
Government is too far removed from the Constitution. Far too many are far too comfortable believing contemporary opinion trumps foundational truth. “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” The above Preamble was written to inspire an improved government (improved from that which was established via the Articles of Confederation). Our founders desired a country that would be just, internally peaceful, and externally protected. They desired our citizens would be blessed and free. Too many today justify legislation that dictates exactly how people should prosper, how tranquility is insured, and what (in their opinion) is a more perfect union.
As said previously amidst these posts, far be it from the Intramuralist to suggest that the State of the Government is the sole fault of the current congress and administration. But far be it from the current congress and administration to suggest it is the sole fault of their predecessors. The reality is still true that the State of the Government has digressed over several decades, and yes, until we responsibly address partisanship, special interests, size, spending, and straying from the Constitution, we will be challenged to admit the Union is strong.