Cartwright—My friend here is exactly right that we need to shrink the size and scope of the federal government, and for that matter, all levels of government. There was a bit of an uproar a couple years back when you had the picture of the guy from the GSA sitting in a bathtub at some Las Vegas Hotel; there were some resignation and righteous indignation from the left and the right, but at the end of the day, a few top people were sacrificed and nothing more happened. The federal government is rife with wasteful and fraudulent spending just like this and everyone knows it but no one has the willpower to tackle the issue. Billions of dollars are wasted with Social Security and Medicare fraud each year, but we let it happen and we will continue to let it happen.
I think the solution lies in part with tax reform. I’ve been an advocate of ditching the current tax code for a long time and replacing it with something like the fair tax or a flat tax. Make it so that everyone can fill out their taxes on a postcard and mail it to the IRS each year with their check. Then, you take the IRS agents and have them start auditing each and every department of the federal government for fraud and waste. In addition, every member of the federal government would get audited each year, just to keep them all honest and to make sure there’s no graft or profiting from public service. The auditors at the IRS are great people; they’re good at their jobs. I don’t want to get rid of them; I want to keep them working for the people. I want them to ensure that the people’s taxes are being put to good use and not squandered.
The politicians seem to forget that the federal government has no money of its own; all the revenue that the federal government has is derived from the people. The politicians don’t care if the money is squandered; it’s not their money. I bet the Congress would have a different opinion about their spending bills if the money was coming out of their pockets. I wonder if some of the members of the Congress who are worth two, three, four hundred million dollars would approve of spending their personal resources in such a wasteful manner. I bet they don’t run their businesses like that; I’m sure they keep a pretty tight rein on the purse strings of the companies.