Terry Paulson

The basic assumption in Washington seems to be that politicians must do something—pass a bill, add a new regulation or create a new entitlement—in order for America to get better. President Obama agonizes, “I spend every waking hour, when I’m talking to my economic team, about how we are going to put people back to work.”

What if government leaving people alone is better than doing something that just makes matters worse? What if letting Americans be free to handle their own problems and earn their own rewards is better than watching government politicians micromanage something they know nothing about?

Congress recently passed legislation to fine airlines for leaving people on runways too long, only to find that now airlines prematurely cancel more flights in the face of pending bad weather to avoid possible fines. Cancelations leave more flyers stranded with no plane to fly in. Congress “cares” enough to make matters worse.

Give me a “Do Nothing…Get Out of the Way” Congress! There has never been a major government entitlement that has cut costs or cost anywhere near what politicians said it would cost. The unintended consequences of bigger government are more complexity, more regulations, more rules, more bureaucracy, more taxes, more uncertainty, and less motivation to take responsibility for one’s own life.

Politicians pass a stimulus package to kick start the economy and create jobs, but confess that identifying the jobs created and saved is an “inexact science.” Jobs are obviously a very “lagging indicator.” President Obama may look good telling people the wonderful things he’s doing to fix things, but his results are a clear disaster—the 3 million jobs lost since he took office are hard to hide.

In trying to make capitalism “fairer,” liberals are destroying what makes free-enterprise work. Taking risks and earning rewards drives economic progress and job creation. Government is taking away risk by funding the failure of companies “too big to fail,” taking away the risk of becoming obsolete by paying for extended unemployment benefits. Such “caring” stalls progress. Why run a company well when the government will cover for your mistakes? Why learn a new skill when someone else will pay you for not working?

For government to “create” jobs, it confiscates taxpayer money, siphons off funds to sustain its growing, parasitic bureaucracy, and gives back a few “very expensive” jobs. As Dr. Kenneth McFarland used to say, “Government aid is much like giving yourself a blood transfusion by taking blood from your right arm and putting it back in your left while watching half of your blood leak out in between.”

Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

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