Ok, so my title might already be making people see red. Hell, if you read my blog regularly you’ve heard me advocate higher taxes. So before you jump to “HOW COULD YOU?!?!”…. let me explain.
The US Federal government is terribly inefficient. Honestly, the breakdown between Federal, State, and smaller is atrocious and when I listen to “small government” speakers I always wait to see IF they will say any of the things I want/need to hear to support them. (FYI, I don’t remember ever hearing it from “tea party” or “libertarian” candidates)
#1 – we spend more than we take in
I’ve written about taxes before:
So I won’t drone too much on this point. But yeah, we DO spend more than we take in. How much of that is a problem with the fact we have drastically lower taxes per capita (which is proven over and over and over – go see it here: http://bfy.tw/Eabd) verses how MUCH our government does with those funds…. different question.
#2 – HOW we spend the money
Ah, now for ME – this is the rub. I’m going to use an example for this. So, Story Time!
When I got married I eloped to the courthouse. We couldn’t get our marriage certificate the same day. We had to go back like 10 days later. That is twice we had to go to that courthouse that month.
Once I had my marriage certificate I had to take it (and other proofs) to the Social Security Administration office to get it changed (I actually had to go twice ’cause the mis-spelled it the first time!). When my SS card finally arrived in the mail, I then had to go to all sorts of other offices to get things changed:
- Drivers License
- Car Title/Tag
Alright, I know the library is very different but still – government! Why the flying squirrel of living purple doom did I have to take (a) time from my life but (b) a bureaucrat’s time to get these done? THIS is the kind of inefficiency I object to – WHY do I have to go to each of these offices? Would there ever be a scenario where I legally change my SSN and keep the old name on the driver’s licenses or passport?
When I’ve mentioned this to people they look at me like I’m saying something weird and say “but SSN is federal and driver’s license is state…..” OK – what about SSN and PASSPORT at least? Why can’t some of this be automated in some way? Why can’t there be some communication from the SSNA and Passport folks (IRS does it automatically!)
So that is a pretty simplistic example, but if we could reduce 10% of the inefficiency of our current government; the waste of having to have so many staff to process a single piece of information…. 10% is not tiny. With a budget of $3.8 TRILLION, 10% would be something like 300 billion? Am I doing this math right? A lot. Alot alot (aside: did you ever meet an alot) Of course, all this would just go to reducing the deficit (which was over 600 billion in 2016) not actually putting money “back in the pot” to be used on anything new. But it would help! It’s a step in the right direction and would make people less annoyed that they have to go to 6 different places for everything.
The problem is I don’t necessarily think we should cut anything that is a “general service” (ie the EPA or Parks Services…) but we should work on efficiency of those services. This would make everyone happier! It would save taxpayers money!