Federal Sunset Commission?
Party politics, it seems, trumps the greater good -- again.
Republicans are going to stand firm against any new or increased taxes, and the Democrats are going to hold dear every entitlement program known to man. And ne’er the twain shall meet.
If that great silent majority out there would speak up, perhaps we could arrive at a reasonable solution.
Our tax system is inequitable. It needs to be fixed, but that alone will not solve our fiscal problems.
An obsese government is an integral part of our fiscal problem, and is in need of a doover. Imagine if a Sunset Commission, such as the one in Texas, went over every federal agency with a fine-toothed comb to validate its necessity, eliminate duplication, waste and corruption. It’s a good bet the savings would be substantial. Medicare fraud alone would probably be a game-changer.
While I’m all for “teaching a man to fish,” I’m not so keen on cooking for him every day, but that’s what we’re doing. We’ve created a welfare state in which generations grow up expecting to be taken care of by government, because the government has taken care of every generation since World War II. We are teaching welfare recipients to produce welfare recipients and not to be self-sufficient.
I am not a fan of knee-jerk, one-size-fitsall responses to our problems. However, one that has a nugget of credibility is the suggestion that welfare recipients be required to take drug tests in order to receive welfare. I would not propose that we turn someone who tested positive for drugs out on the street, but I would consider requiring that they undergo treatment as a condition of receiving welfare.
Drug use keeps many welfare recipients from getting jobs, which keeps them on the welfare treadmill. There are those who intentionally use drugs as a way to keep from being employed and thus on the public payroll. It’s a vicious cycle that has to be stopped. Welfare programs should be considered temporary – not a way of life.
We are in a difficult financial predicament in this country, and the resolution is going to require some tough decisions, and probably some pain all around. Most of all it is going to require that entitlement programs insist that recipients take responsibility for themselves.
That’s just one side of the equation. Our tax system is the other, and I don’t think the solution is simply to go after the rich guys. The solution lies somewhere well away from politics – if that’s possible.
Mary Henkel Judson is editor and copublisher of the South Jetty. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, (361) 749-5131 or P.O. Box 1117, Port Aransas, TX 78373.