A Few Short Thoughts Part II

John Campbell

6/16/2010 12:35:16 PM - John Campbell
Last week, I mentioned that over my next few blogs, I would provide some short observations on the state of things here in Washington, D.C…and here is a group of several additional observations. Enjoy!

For decades, the assumption has been that government employees were paid less than their private sector counterparts. But the tradeoff was that the public sector jobs were more secure and often times, you can't be fired without gross malfeasance. That has since changed. Big time. The American Enterprise Institute, just completed a study which showed that the average government employee now makes significantly more than their private sector counterparts when pensions, generous vacations, and other benefits are taken into account. Equivalent workers in the private sector only make half that much! This is on the heels of another study which showed that government employees now earn about 25% more than private sector workers in straight salary without taking benefits into account. And of course, the whole issue of it being harder to get fired in government is still true. So, if you work in the private sector and run into a friend who works for the government, ask them why you need to pay more taxes and sacrifice so that they can get paid double what you make?

I like golf, although I'm not very good at it. But I haven't played in almost 3 years because I just don't have the time. The first President Bush was widely criticized by the press for playing golf while soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines were fighting in the Gulf War. Accordingly, George W. Bush stopped playing golf after 9/11. President Obama has no such compunction. According to London's Daily Telegraph, Obama played 32 rounds of golf in his first 15 months in office, about the same as Bush 43 played in his entire 8 years in office. American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are still fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Where is the press outrage?

As you undoubtedly know, I think that the Socialized Medicine Bill passed earlier this year is a disaster for the country on several levels. But what you may not know is that it is universally acknowledged that there are a number of elements in the bill that just don't work or create consequences that even supporters of the bill never intended. But rather than fix them, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA), decreed that no hearings would be held this year on the Health Care Bill because it might give the impression that the just passed bill has problems. Now, we wouldn't want to give that sort of impression would we.....especially since it's TRUE!

Socialized Medicine Bill factoid you probably don't know: You used to have to have income below a certain amount and a net worth below a certain amount to qualify for free health care under Medicaid. Not anymore. The wealth cap has been completely removed. So, if you have little income, you can live in a $2 million house that you own free and clear and still get all your health care for free.

Another Socialized Medicine Factoid you probably don't know: In order to give the illusion that this bill somehow reduces the deficit, Democrats needed revenue sources. One of the ones that is now law is a requirement that every business create a 1099 for anyone (business or individual) who buys more than $600 in goods or services in a tax year. and send a copy to the recipient and the IRS. This is supposedly going to raise $17 billion in new money as companies who are not reporting income now will have to report it. But, what will be the costs to the private sector to generate these documents for every check they write? Another huge job killer here.

The Democrat majority in Congress may not be able to produce a budget, but the Republican Study Committee has. That budget reduces the deficit every year and creates surpluses by 2019. Oh...and it actually lowers taxes by making the 2001/2003 tax cuts permanent and by permanently keeping the alternative minimum tax at its present level. You can read more about it on the RSC’s website by clicking here: FY 2011 RSC Budget Plan

Did you hear about the SEC employees who were caught watching internet porn on their government computers almost 8 hours a day while at work during the financial crisis? OK, watching porn on a government computer is bad enough, but what bothers me the most is that some of these guys were making $200,000 a year and spending 8 hours a day NOT WORKING and did it for a long time while the SEC was telling Congress that they didn't have enough money or people to do the job. Unbelievable.