Recently, Democrats have been threatening to shut down the government unless Congress raises taxes to fund big government. Senate Democrats took the first step by blocking the defense funding bill that keeps America safe.
But the majority of the American people say that taxes are already too high, and raising taxes on people while they are still catching up after such a long recession would be terrible. What is even more absurd is the thought that Americans will accept even bigger government when the big government we have is completely inept.
It seems that every month there is a new scandal from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the problems never get fixed. The Administrative state is steeped in a culture of ambivalence coupled with a lack of accountability, and no amount of funding can fix those problems.
Would more money have made the OPM chief actually tell the American people just how bad the data breach was? Would it have changed the fact that VA employees hid wait times? Would it have stopped IRS employees from targeting people based on their political beliefs? Would it have kept HHS from being unable to account for $3 billion in subsidies paid to insurance companies last year?
The question is, when the federal government has such a full record of failure, why does the left still want the federal government to have even greater power and control over our everyday lives?
America now has a generation coming of age that has never seen government actually function well. So instead of spending more on wasteful, inefficient, and ineffective government, we should be holding government accountable.
As has been said, “Those who cannot learn history are condemned to repeat it”. So here’s a lesson in just the most recent history of government failures for everyone who thinks it’s smart to trust Washington more than the American people:
- The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) allowed hackers to steal the personal information of millions of federal workers, current and past, which could lead to identity theft and further data breaches in the federal government. A government watchdog reports that OPM didn’t have a secure IT system for almost a decade, and that little if anything was done to increase cybersecurity. FBI Director James Comey said hackers stole “millions and millions” of background records, and the count now stands at 5 million. Only after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other House leaders called on OPM Director Katherine Archuleta to resign did she finally stepped down. This breach came just months after data breaches were revealed in the U.S. Postal Service, the State Department, a contractor for the Department of Homeland Security, and even the White House.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs allowed dozens of veterans to die while they waited weeks or months for medical appointments. Yet after congress passed the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act, the Administration has done little to improve veteran care. A full year after news broke that veterans died waiting for care, just as many of our veterans faced long wait times. To date, nobody at the VA has been fired for manipulating wait times.
- Not only did HHS spend billions of dollars on the disastrous healthcare.gov that continued to be unsecure and unsafe well after going online, HHS now can’t explain where nearly $3 billion in subsidies paid to insurance companies went to in 2014. That’s right, $3 billion completely unaccounted for. Despite the multiple failing of HHS over the past few years, few have been fired.
- The Secret Service allowed a knife-carrying man to breach the front gate of the White House and run into the building. Only months after, a drone breached the secure perimeter around the White House and drunk Secret Service agents crashed into a White House barrier.
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) targeted conservative groups and then “lost” all emails from Lois Lerner, hampering investigations. Later, some of the emails were found not by the IRS, but by an inspector general. The Department of Justice still refuses to conduct a criminal investigation of Lois Lerner or hold anyone accountable in the IRS for targeting Americans based on their political beliefs.
Each time a new scandal broke, the House called for action, conducted oversight, investigated the matters, or passed bills to reform the broken system. Yet despite all this work, the Obama Administration has slow-walked reform and, often, refused to hold anyone accountable. Many times, President Obama—the nation’s chief administrator—claimed to have heard about the scandals on the news.
And though the problems are structural and cultural, Democrats in Congress and President Obama continue to call for more spending. But spending more on a broken system won’t fix any problems.
Democrats may want to prop up the executive ineptocracy—as National Review’s Jim Geraghty put it—with even more money from hard-earned taxpayers. And they may threaten to shutdown the government if they don’t get their way. But Republicans in Congress have said enough is enough. We passed a balanced budget. We’ve cut spending and reduced the deficit. We’ve led the charge to hold government accountable. That is the answer, not spending more on more government failure.