Alyssa Ahlgren: Government Is the Overbearing Parent You Wish Would Stop Helping

What does TSA, the VA, USPS, public education, the welfare system, Medicare, the EPA, and IRS all have in common? They’re some of the worst run institutions and they’re all controlled by the federal government. 

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What does TSA, the VA, USPS, public education, the welfare system, Medicare, the EPA, and IRS all have in common? They’re some of the worst run institutions and they’re all controlled by the federal government. 

The programs and agencies I provided is an extraordinarily small list compared to the abundance of botched organizations run by the federal government. However, that doesn’t stop the bureaucrats in D.C. advocating for creating more. Every social and economic issue seems to be met with the same response from public officials – expand government control, make another agency. 

The Department of Children and Youth, Department of Peace, Department of Cybersecurity, Climate Conservation Corps, Foreign Interference Threat Center, Office of LGBT Antidiscrimination, and Office of Reproductive Freedom are among the obtuse “solutions” that have been proposed by Democratic candidates so far in this election season. Expanding government is the easy non-answer to a problem. It is another way for legislature to delegate power to unelected officials while simultaneously depleting the power of the people. 

When we look at the difficulties facing our nation we don’t have to look far for the source of the problem, or at the very least the entity that exacerbated the problem. Behind nearly every public failure is a federalized power that created it. 

About fifty years and $22 trillion late, the poverty line hasn’t budged since the government stepped in and took up the war on poverty. Higher education costs skyrocketed with the interference of the Department of Education and the nationalizing of student loans. Men and women die waiting for care provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The government meddling in the market with subprime mortgage loans caused the 2008 housing crisis. 

According to a 2018 Gallup poll, only 38% of Americans are satisfied with the system of government and only 34% are satisfied with the size and power of government. The problems every day Americans face aren’t for lack of resources.

There are over 430 agencies, sub-agencies, and departments in the federal government. The Executive Branch alone consists of over 4 million employees. We have a federal deficit of $22 trillion and 67% of the budget is spent on government assistance programs, health programs, and social safety nets. Public schools continue to worsen regardless of the United States spending 35% more on elementary and secondary education than the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) average, and 93% more than the OECD average in postsecondary education. 

We have a bad habit of looking to the government to solve our problems even when federal control has a history of letting us down. We have an extensive amount of bureaucracy and red tape that is restricting the efficiency of programs that would otherwise thrive in the private sector. However, that hasn’t stopped public officials advocating for more. Nationalized healthcare, schooling, and universal income are only a few of the plans erroneously proposed by our fiscally liberal counterparts. 

What doesn’t get pointed out is that these “ideas” of nationalizing aspects of society and our lives are not new. Centralizing power in an attempt to achieve a utopia is a notion that has been chased for centuries. This means when a plan like ‘Medicare for All’ or universal basic income is proposed, we don’t have to guess whether or not it will work because it has already been tried. Lenin, Mao, and Stalin were huge fans of such levels of centralization and we saw how that turned out. Even in the Scandinavian countries where nationalization is easier to implement due to smaller and more homogenous populations have less centralization of power than the proposed plans like ‘Medicare for All.’ 

Our confidence in government is minimal yet we insist on kicking our nation’s largest industries to the very power we distrust. The government can’t even provide adequate health care to 20 million veterans, what makes us think it can provide for 330 million Americans? History and the trend of America’s success will tell you that the federal government cannot do a better job than the people can. The government does not have the ability to learn from its mistakes, but we do. We are a country by the people. When the nation has a problem, we look to ourselves. 
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Alyssa Ahlgren

Alyssa has her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and currently works as an analyst in corporate finance. She grew up in northern Wisconsin and is a former collegiate hockey player. Alyssa is pursuing her passion for current events and politics through writing and being an advocate for the conservative movement.