Government Purpose: Ensuring life, liberty, and happy pursuit
The purpose of Government
Ensuring life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for citizens is the highest purpose. Now, let’s get down to business. That is, how will this be accomplished? Then, what will be accomplished?
In this Washington Post Editorial, the paper outlines priorities:
1. Protecting the nation and preserving the peace
2. Ensure that no one goes hungry, homeless or uncared for when sick
3. Promote economic growth
4. Provide a safe supply of food and medicine; clean air and water, national parks, a capital the country can be proud of
Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts
That’s what the WP says.
What did I say before when I wrote a mock State of the Union Speech for President Obama?
“1. Our economy is in a slow recovery mode as you know with the jobless rate still too high. Many people are unemployed and have given up trying to reenter the workforce. Our system of accounting for jobless is flawed and many people are unaccounted for. This bad situation is getting better and you may well ask, how fast?
2. Growing private sector employment in the US is our main objective now. When people are working in the private sector for companies that are manufacturing consumer products for global consumption, they are increasing our Gross Domestic Product. Exports help reduce our national debt. Government will embark on policies that maximize incentive for domestic producers.
3. Wage earners pay taxes as do profitable corporations. Taxes are essential for 1) paying down the debt, 2) paying for our social services and health care obligations to all citizens, and 3) paying for national security. As prosperity returns, tax payers can expect to contribute to our obligations.
4. Government performance is not optimized. Government performance can be improved by a number of things: 1) improved laws and regulations that produce more efficient and effective government and that is Congress’ job with Executive input, 2) executive management approach ensuring proper systems engineering, process design, and equipping government with the best people and technology, 3) eliminating waste, fraud, abuse and non performing and duplicative programs. Our goal is to reduce the size of government by 25% while increasing efficiency and effectiveness by the same amount.
5. America’s foreign policy is right in principle but is beyond our capacity to implement as we are engaged in unnecessary wars and our return on cost is nonexistent or too low. A thorough review of foreign policy is needed to reduce and target our global footprint.
6. America’s national security and defense interests are out of balance. We need to have strategic control over immigration policy and to ensure that our homeland security department has the capacity to enforce our laws and regulations. We have a backlog of immigration problems that must be addressed expeditiously to reduce costs and to restore control. There can be no compromise in law enforcement. There can be compassion in how order is restored through the process and with Congress and the Executive collaborating to clean up the backlog.
7. America’s military needs time to retool and recalibrate. America’s forces will be brought home or repositioned such that it will not be engaged where the return on cost is unjustified. America will be out of Iraq and out of Afghanistan except where forces are needed to pursue and combat terrorists.
8. America will continue to work with global partners to address new sources of energy development and collaborative economic development based on green production of green products for green consumers powered by green renewable energy. America’s legacy of communities requires massive renewal to a new paradigm of clean and efficient living.
9. Therefore, the vision for America is renewal that includes renewing manufacturing America and making the nation increasingly self sufficient. The old model of ever expanding economy based on population expansion is over because resources are constrained to the limit. A new economic model will be forthcoming and it will be exciting and challenging for a new generation to develop it for our future’s sake.
10. Education, science, math, and the arts combine to provide a diverse foundation for future development. Funding education and encouraging global superiority in academic performance is an essential purpose.
If you don’t fix the economic engine, you can’t afford to do anything else.
“What government is for
Saturday, February 26, 2011; 6:34 PM
ON THE SUNDAY Opinions page today, we publish alarms from a number of advocates for federal programs endangered by Republican budget cutting. We sympathize with many of the appeals. But we also recognize that the United States is facing a fiscal challenge that, if unaddressed, threatens U.S. prosperity and global leadership.
So how should priorities be set?
First among ours is protecting the nation and preserving the peace. For the better part of a century, the United States has been the guarantor of peace for the world, and the world is better off for it - on balance freer, more peaceful and more prosperous. America has made some terrible mistakes abroad and no doubt spends money on bases or weapons systems that it could do without. But when politicians insist that, because the U.S. budget is strained, we can't possibly keep troops in Germany, or Korea, or Afghanistan, we don't have much sympathy. America is wealthier, its economy far more able to generate tax revenue, because of the global harmony that it helps maintain - and that no other country could provide.
That harmony doesn't flow just from military power. The far smaller expenditures for diplomacy, foreign aid and democracy promotion serve U.S. interests as well as values. Cutbacks in those accounts are easy and self-defeating.
Second, government should ensure that no one goes hungry, homeless or uncared for when sick. The U.S. safety net protects old people better than children. Insurance programs such as Social Security and Medicare have become popular in part by being universal; one of the hardest challenges will be to maintain political support for them while asking those can afford to do so to depend less on government.
Third, government should promote economic growth. That means maintaining ports, roads, rails, subways and airports; educating the next generation; and supporting science. But grandiose projects such as trips to Mars or high-speed rail to Las Vegas will have to wait.
Fourth, the country is better off if inequality is lessened; if all children, no matter the station of their birth, can aspire to wealth and greatness. That's why we support modest progressivity in government's finances - that it should take more from the rich to help the poor.
Finally, there are elements of a healthy, humane society that only government can provide: A safe supply of food and medicine. Clean air and water, national parks, a capital the country can be proud of. There are programs that are an obvious waste, such as subsidies for cotton or ethanol.
And then there are the nice-to-haves. Public radio and television provide levels of serious news and cultural coverage and of civility that are otherwise not prevalent in today's media. The Institute of Peace promotes some valuable research and field work. Support for the arts is an emblem of a civilized society. It's true that if Washington got the bigger, harder things right - controlling health-care costs and aiming entitlement programs at those who really need the help - there'd be enough left over for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts. But as a matter of politics and fairness, some of the nice-to-haves are going to have to take a hit: There are worthy things that government is no longer going to be able to do.”