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TEN THINGS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DOES WELL

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 13, 2012

– I had trouble thinking of just one.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
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Quick, name ten things the federal government does well. Let me be clear, not the state or local governments, only our federal government. And I’m not concerned if it is right or wrong, but how proficiently they are able to perform a given task. Go ahead, try it. I’ll wait.

It’s not too easy, is it? I was recently asked this by an old friend from up north and I have to admit it stopped me in my tracks. I had to do some real soul searching to dream up a list, and frankly, it took me some time to do. Nonetheless, here is what I came up with (in no particular order):

1. Pay entitlements – we do not seem to have a problem paying out unemployment, food stamps, or whatever. I suspect we’re probably too efficient in this regard.

2. Collect taxes – beyond income taxes, it’s amazing how the federal government picks our pocket, be it at the gas pump, tobacco, etc. Even business taxes are ultimately passed on to consumers through increased prices.

3. Enforce taxes – The IRS is certainly a force to be reckoned with. I’m told even the smallest IRS agent can rip a telephone book in two with his bare hands.

4. Operate our park system – I don’t think I have been in a federal park that wasn’t well maintained with courteous rangers.

5. Strong military – the smartest, best trained, and best equipped in the world.

6. Strong intelligence services – the NSA, FBI, CIA, et al. may not get it right all of the time, but thank God we’ve got them.

7. Print money – they may not know how to earn it or budget it, but they do a superlative job of printing it.

8. Pay foreign aid – I tend to believe we’re charitable to a fault, including those countries who undermine us.

9. Assemble statistics – just about every department knows how to crunch numbers to justify their existence.

10. Take care of themselves – the salaries and benefits for government workers is probably the best in the world.

The fact we cannot enumerate this list off the top of our heads is indicative of the problem we have with our government; that we perceive it as a bloated inefficient albatross hanging around our necks. In contrast, I’m sure we could quickly name ten things the government does poorly, such as policing themselves over spending, preparing and adhering to budgets, protecting our borders, delivering the mail, utilizing our natural resources, combating drugs, maintaining our infrastructure, performing medical research, etc. There is probably dozens of inefficiencies we could name with ease.

If we honestly believe the federal government is the poster child for inefficiency, no wonder taxpayers think they are being fleeced. It’s one thing to give money to support your government, quite another if it is a system desperately in need of repair. One last question for you; as a taxpayer, do you truly believe you’re getting your money’s worth out of the federal government? I thought so.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.


NEXT UP: 
THE JOYS OF SHAVING – The burden of grooming one’s face repetitively.

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9 Responses to “TEN THINGS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DOES WELL”

  1. Tim Bryce said

    A J.T. of Michigan wrote…

    “Tim, you say it in such a nice way. Always enjoy your comments.”

    Like

  2. Tim Bryce said

    A C.P. of Evandale, Ohio wrote…

    “Don’t forget, Expand. The Federal Government is like sour dough or weeds, it continues to grow even when left unattended.”

    Like

  3. Tim Bryce said

    A J.P. of Toronto, Ontario wrote…

    “Some things were co-operative. The magnificent system of national highways, the Interstates, was a joint federal and the states project. It was, at the time, the most advanced and best in the world, and maybe it still is. It certainly did wonders for the economy and, indeed, the modern trucking industry as we know it would not have arisen without it.

    Which level of government is responsible for food safety?

    Surely, many things that appear to be done at first by the states are only possible because the states have, individually, received back large sums of taxpayer money orinally collected by the federal level?”

    Like

  4. Tim Bryce said

    A T.H. of Dallas, Texas wrote…

    “Defense is the only thing I think is done well – Less than 1 percent of the US Population protecting the 99 percent at a pay rate for 2/3 of the enlisted that qualifies them for food stamps. We need to remind ourselves that these citizens should be honored every day.

    Everything else the government does is based upon kickbacks, scams and legal embezzlement. I am still looking for 1 honest man or woman in the government who is not in someone’s pocket or willing to say what they believe and not retract it to be PC. “

    Like

  5. Tim Bryce said

    A J.S. of Skidway Lake, Michigan wrote…

    “How appalling that we can find far more fault with our government than positive accomplishments! It is a struggle to find things that are done efficiently and effectively. Clearly, we need new leadership.

    Not to put a damper on the few areas in which the federal government shines, but I believe that the success of our armed forces, park rangers and intelligence services has a lot to do with the sort of person who chooses to work in those areas. They are not jobs taken by those who are not dedicated to their work and country.”

    A J.D. of Columbus, Ohio wrote…

    “I really like numbers 4, 5, and 6…those are things that are possibly the most positive on this list. The rest seemed to be centered on and around money. Number 10 makes me sick….seems those in the position to do so are more concerned about giving themselves raises while pointing the finger at wall street. Ironic?”

    A C.C. of West Virginia wrote…

    “It has come to the point that I no longer believe a word the government says. I don’t trust the media either.”

    Like

  6. Tim Bryce said

    An L.M. of Chicago, Illinois wrote…

    “At first I thought this was a trick question, but you managed to pull yourself out of the quagmire. I should have known….”

    Like

  7. Tim Bryce said

    A K.S. of Oklahoma wrote…

    “I guess any sane person would be hard pressed to think of anything that they do well besides spend other people’s money.”

    Like

  8. Tim Bryce said

    An O.R. of San Francisco wrote…

    “There are plenty of good things our government does well, we just tend to think of the negative faster!”

    Like

  9. […] TEN THINGS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DOES WELL […]

    Like

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