Government will necessarily spend taxpayers’ money inefficiently. Check out David Bartel’s recent blogWhere he quotes Milton Friedman’s explanation of why this is such. It is quite insightful, and makes sense. The only reason government would spend taxpayer money efficiently for the taxpayer is if they feel a very strong moral obligation to do whatever they can within their capacity to spend the money efficiently. As Bartel’s says, “I have seen this firsthand working in government myself the past few months. The way people talk about spending huge sums of taxpayer dollars on a whim was shocking to me at first. The shock is wearing off a bit by now. One must become desensitized after awhile.” Imagine a career in government; what kind of convictions can be left? This is why I am constantly impressed by Dr. Paul as well as other Congressmen who feel that it is their obligation to the people of America to not waste our money. This is also why I feel that the government needs to be relentlessly held in check by the people.
The tax issue alone should give us cause enough to be relentless in our evaluation, criticism, and at times, praise of those who make up our representatives. But it goes beyond that, consider all the policy issues that they are involved in: when/where/how we send troops overseas and fight wars, what drugs are legal and illegal (alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, etc.), healthcare, business regulation, infrastructure construction, personal rights and liberties, etc. The list goes on and on. Does this mean that we all need to spend 12 hours a day poring over political information? Absolutely not. But I do think it should be one of our highest priorities to stay informed, involved, and formulate an opinion. We cannot simply ‘trust’ our representatives to spend our money as efficiently as possible, and I think if you check out the quote on Bart’s blog, you will understand.