Judge Andrew Napolitano recently asked, ‘Why should government agents spy on us? They work for us. How about we spy on them? On cops when they arrest and interrogate people or contemplate suspending freedom; on prosecutors when they decide whom to prosecute and what evidence to use; on judges when they rationalize away our guaranteed rights; and on members of Congress whenever they meet with a lobbyist, mark up a piece of legislation, or conspire to assault our liberties or our pocketbooks.’
That quote sums up what this country needs: Transparency. But what we need and what we get are two vastly divergent things these days. The federal government already has the guts to give us “economic stimulus refund” checks that amount to taking a $50 bill and making you change but leaving you with two $20 bills. They are also suspending the release of M3, which is a report that was used to monitor currency and money in the country based on the Fed’s actions. And the list goes on and on and on.
Why do we need transparency? Because it will help the American people realize what the government is really doing to them, and, more importantly, what it is not doing for them. The federal government is not designed to take care of you and feed you and clothe you throughout your life. And the government does not do those things, although lately it seems people are under the impression that it is their right to receive such items as “free” health care or to have the government bail them out of a risky loan. In short, the government is not a provider of economic growth, all the government really can do is stifle economic growth and development.
There is no incentive for anyone in government to do anything except maintain and push the status quo to new levels of big government. Take the war on drugs. For years we have been fighting this uphill battle with little to no success. We have spent and spent and spent and drug use has not seen any real drop, nor is there any reason to believe such a drop is forthcoming. But try telling that to a DEA officer, cop, probation officer, jail guard, or coroner. They need illegal, underground drugs or they are basically out of a (well paying, taxpayer funded) job. So the status quo remains.
Same with education. For all the talk of “No Child Left Behind” and improving test scores, students are failing miserably. Most high schoolers can’t add or subtract, let alone balance a checkbook or figure out simple mortgage payments. I myself never learned any basic life skills in 12 years of government education.
But for all the money we spend on education, the war on drugs, Social Security, etc etc, why don’t we at least get some kind of report on where exactly this money is going? And not just “old people” or “schools.” The American people deserve to know where every dollar is spent, and what goal it accomplished or is working towards. Of course this can never happen, because, similar to the illegal drug example above, the entire government as we know it today depends on being shady and mysterious with regard to our money. That’s right, our money. The people’s money. Remember, in the words of Napolitano, who “they” work for.