The Business of Government
by Ron Paul: A
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Amid the din
of economic nonsense being bandied about since the collapse of the
housing bubble and the steep ramping up of our national debt, there
has been the persistent refrain that Washington should be run more
like a business. If only more business people were in charge to
wield their business acumen, we would have this country in shape
in no time. But is that a good solution?
seek primarily to increase their revenues and profits. Government
revenue depends on taxes. Government accumulates taxmoney by squeezing
it out of people's productive earnings with threats of audits, fines
and imprisonment. Our government already collects roughly $2.1 trillion
annually from the productive taxpayers of America. We hardly need
to increase our federal government's revenues like a private business!
sell products or services to voluntary buyers, always looking to
increase their market share as much as possible. But what is the
federal government's product or service? Rules, regulations, bureaucracy,
paperwork, red tape, hoops to jump through, uneven protection and
security from people with guns, coercion and compliance through
force and confiscation of assets, militarism instead of national
defense, and of course a vast welfare state. Do we need more of
these government services? Hardly. In fact, we have far too many
of these destructive things already.
What we need
is more freedom. Freedom is the simple ability of people to live
their lives as they see fit without government coercion, provided
they do not initiate force or fraud against others. What we really
need is a less coercive government, not more revenues.
needs to stop seeing itself as a growth industry, and realize that
the true function of government is to protect liberty. Washington
certainly has expanded and grown and accumulated a great deal of
the people's capital for itself, but this has been at the expense
of our nation's prosperity. This trend needs to be reversed.
don't need yet another "jobs" bill to supposedly put the
American people back to work. Politicians need to realize that,
aside from outright hiring some 14 million people, government does
not create jobs. The only thing government does is hinder job creation
by getting in the way and consuming otherwise private resources.
Therefore, the most useful thing government can do for unemployment
is to "liquidate" much of what government does in the
One plain example
is our tax policy that encourages U.S. corporations to accumulate
foreign earnings abroad rather than repatriate such earnings. Currently
there is over $1 trillion of capital that companies are keeping
overseas because of the 35% tax charged for bringing it back to
the US. Our government literally is pushing capital and jobs overseas
that could be used to hire an estimated 2.5 million people here
create jobs. Government is not a business. We don't need more stimulus
or phony jobs bills. We don't need more revenue - $2 trillion is
plenty to fund the federal government annually. What we do need
is a wholesale rejection of government as a central economic planner.
the Ron Paul File
Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.
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