Big Government Breeds Big Corruption

John A. Quayle blueoval57 at VERIZON.NET
Wed Dec 17 20:44:55 MST 2008



Big Government Breeds Big Corruption
by <>Newt 
<>(more by 
this author)
Posted 12/16/2008 ET
Updated 12/16/2008 ET

Question: What do Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (D), convicted Senator 
Ted Stevens (R), failing public school administrators, and the 80 percent 
of retiring California Highway Patrol chiefs who apply for disability have 
in common?

Answer: None of them is honest, and all of them are part of America’s 
already vast and rapidly expanding government.

“When Buying and Selling are Controlled by Legislation, the First Things to 
be Bought and Sold are Legislators.”

The idea that big government is inherently corrupting is as old as America 
itself. It was part of the Founders’ case for casting off the chains of the 
British monarchy.

More recently, the principle that big government breeds big corruption was 
perhaps expressed best by humorist P.J. O’Rourke, who said:

“When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to 
be bought and sold are legislators.”

Blago is Just the Most Obvious Example

The shocking case of corruption in the office of the governor of Illinois 
by Rod Blagojevich is just the most obvious manifestation of this tendency 
for dishonesty to grow as government grows.

When the Detroit public school system 
<>continues to take money 
for the 76 percent of students that it fails to graduate on time or at all, 
its administrators aren’t being honest.

When 80 percent -- 80 percent! -- of California Highway Patrol assistant 
and deputy chiefs 
<>claim a 
disability at retirement to inflate their pensions, they are not being 
honest. (Also see this 
<>shocking story from 
yesterday’s New York Times).

When at least 25 percent of the $50 billion of the taxpayers’ money 
each year on Medicaid in New York is likely due to fraud, waste and misuse, 
it’s not only the individuals defrauding the system that are being 
dishonest, but the government officials allowing this travesty to continue 
are dishonest as well.

The list could go on and on.

Corruption Will Only Grow as Government Expands into Our Economy

It’s examples like these that have caused Americans to lose faith and trust 
in their government. It was Republicans who paid the price for this in 
November, but in reality, all of us are paying.

And we’ll only pay more as the federal government moves further and further 
into part-ownership of America’s insurance companies, banks, financial 
institutions and, most likely, Detroit’s auto industry.

That’s why I believe that the most important words in rethinking government 
in the next decade won’t be vague promises like “change” or massive 
government attempts at make-work “stimulus.”

Honesty. Effectiveness. Productivity. Creativity.

The four most important words in rethinking government in the years to come 
will be these:





There are sub-words that could be added. For instance, the natural 
counterpart to honesty in government is “accountability.” Honesty in 
government also breeds “integrity” in government.

But note one thing: Each of these words emphatically do not describe 
hulking behemoths like bureaucracies, bloated labor unions, or massive 

Honesty, effectiveness, productivity and creativity don’t describe 
Washington. They describe places like Silicon Valley. They describe the 
lean, agile and innovative companies and institutions that are making 
American better every day.

The Watchwords of the World That Works

Honesty, effectiveness, productivity and creativity describe the world that 
works rather than the world that fails.

Our goal in the coming months and years must be to move our government from 
the world of dishonesty, failure, inefficiency and stagnation -- the world 
that fails -- to the world of honesty, effectiveness, productivity and 
creativity -- the world that works.

Think this sounds like cock-eyed optimism? If so, I’m in good company.

Ronald Reagan once said there are no easy solutions, just simple ones. 
Nothing could be simpler than the four watchwords for transforming 
government I’ve laid out -- and nothing will be more difficult than 
changing our government institutions to meet them.

Governor Blagojevich is long past due for a wake-up call. It’s time to get 
to work.

RNC Gets It All Wrong

With these four watchwords in mind, I was saddened to see the Republican 
National Committee’s recent web video trying desperately to draw a link 
between President-elect Obama and disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

This is exactly the type of mindless, character-assassination, attack 
politics that the voters rejected in 2006 and 2008.

Everything about this ad is wrong -- from its sheer desperation, to its 
tone, to what it says about the agenda of the Republican Party.

Clearly, we should insist that all of the taped communications about the 
Senate seat be made public. But that should be a matter of public policy, 
not of political attack.

If the Republican Party ever wants to return to the majority, it must spend 
the next two years being the “better solutions party,” not just an 
opposition party.

This means Republicans should be willing to work with President-elect Obama 
when he is right. And when he is wrong, Republicans must make it a point 
not just to oppose him, but to offer a better solution.

It also means that from now until the inaugural, Republicans should be 
willing to work with President-elect Obama as he prepares to take office, 
not engage in the same trivial, negative politics that failed in the past 
two election cycles.

In a time when America is facing real challenges, we should be rooting for 
an incoming President to succeed in meeting them. This ad is a terrible 
signal to be sending about both the goals of the Republican Party in the 
midst of the nation’s troubled economic times and about whether it has 
learned anything from the defeats of 2006 and 2008.

The RNC should pull the ad down immediately.

Newt’s Quick Links

• The American Solutions Airline Passenger Project (TravelASAP) has 
launched a new vlog. 
it out.

• Think things can’t get any worse in Illinois? 

• A financial nightmare before Christmas? Read more 

• More 
that government immigration status enforcement should be out-sourced to 
Visa or American Express.

• My 
<>speech to 
the American Legislative Exchange Council on the future of conservative 

• An <>AP video about 
“buckypaper,” a remarkable paper-thin material made from carbon nanotubes 
that is stronger than steel

Your friend,


P.S. New Year’s Resolutions are almost upon us. Washington could use a few 
good resolutions, so send your best resolution ideas for reforming 
government in 2009. I will post the best 2009 resolution ideas in this 
newsletter. Just send them to me at newt at Who knows? Maybe your 
resolution will be the next great reform.

Mr. Gingrich is the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and 
author of 
the Future" (published by Regnery, a HUMAN EVENTS sister company). 
<>Click here to get his free Winning the 
Future e-mail newsletter.

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Copyright © 2008 HUMAN EVENTS. All Rights Reserved.

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