America’s Most Feared Words

by Barry Denton

Ronald Reagan used to tell this story that proclaimed that America’s most feared words were “I’m from the government and I am here to help”! As time goes on this becomes more and more evident.

In mid-August Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy finally said something about the Colorado Gold King Mine wastewater spill. Ms. McCarthy said she was “deeply sorry”.

Okay, we can take her at her word, but it took several days for her to respond. Notice that she did not say that “heads would roll”, “it’s our fault”, or anything that might instill some confidence to the public.

Remember the EPA fining British Petroleum 5.5 billion for violating the Clean Water Act during the Deepwater Horizon Spill? Funny thing, but I guess you cannot fine a government agency for creating disasters. Basically there does not seem to be any consequence in this Obama administration for making glaring mistakes.

You may want to refer to Hillary Clinton and Benghazi or Eric Holder with Fast & Furious. New Mexico seems to have its share of government calamities including the Cerro Grande Fire of 2000 that was a prescribed burn that left 235 homes burned to the ground in Los Alamos. This list could go on and on.

Have you ever wondered why our elected representatives are so enthralled with the federal government? It all seems to come down to money and advancing their political career. There never used to be much money in politics, but that is no longer the case.

Still it does not attract America’s brightest and best. It seems to attract the clever, cunning, and moderately intelligent individual. Remember, those introverted, kids that just didn’t fit in that you went to school with? They all grew up, found out that they could not make a living in normal society and became disciples for over reaching government agencies. To their credit they are getting even for being picked on.

If you run your own ranch or business you now realize that they will try and trip you up every chance they get. Power and revenge are what they thrive on.

Think about Cliven Bundy for a minute. Whether you were on his side or not you have to admit that the entire thing was a fiasco on the government’s part. The US government sent an army to attack a family of peaceful ranchers that owed them some money. Why? Could not a pair of federal marshals sent to the front door of the ranch house have done the same thing?

The Bundy’s had no history of violence. What good did it do the government to shoot their cattle and bury them?

What I want to know is who were the alleged “hired cowboys” that thought this was the right thing to do? One of the funniest stories was about them ‘sic-ing’ the police dog on the son Ammon Bundy who decided he did not want to be bitten. Therefore, he kicked the police dog in the head and that was the end of that. This entire debacle should have made you happy that you paid for it!

The other story that Ronald Reagan liked to tell was about the former Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson visiting a drought devastated area in Arkansas. The old conservative Secretary was not about to dole out public funds for just anything. He said to the Arkansas farmer that he had information that this area has had 36 inches of rain. The farmer replied “Yes, we did, but that was in a 24-hour period”. 

One thing I have never been able to figure out is a government employee’s inability to think for themselves. Few that I have met do what is right in spite of rules. Many that I seem to have dealt with are so indoctrinated or brain washed by their employers that they are devoid of common sense. I suppose it is easier to go to work every day and not have to think. All you have to do is follow a simple set of rules and never vary from it.

Just how many rules and laws do we need? We have the Ten Commandments which pretty much cover everything.

What else do we need? All of us in private business know that we constantly have to change the way we do business just to survive. We cannot do what our parents did 50 years ago and expect to prevail. The world appears to change at an accelerated pace these days and this requires the business person to adapt to the changes.

The only change I see at government agencies is that they apply more rules to the private individual who pays their salary. They forget that part.

You would think that you would take great care of the persons that pay you. I get it, since they are guaranteed a paycheck no matter what happens they feel a sense of power over the people that pay them.

While I realize that we need a government, I also realize we need a much smaller one. Keep that in mind with the elections coming up next year. If you think the government is poorly run, do not ever vote for an incumbent. They are part of the existing problem. During their stump speech they may have some good ideas, but if they have held that office for two, four, or six years and have not implemented any positive change then I would say they are ineffective.

Results matter, intentions mean nothing. Just stop and think what affects your life more. The government can be improved, but it is up to you.