Could Two Simple Questions Put Us On A Path To A More Responsive And Responsible (Even More Affordable) Government?

There are mobs of rank and file Democrats (moderates, independents, and so on) whose only grasp of what the TEA Party represents comes from the professional left and their media allies.   (Lucky for them the socialist progressives own the education and media industrial complex, with only a few exceptions, so their PR campaigns get more play and more often.)

But the crux of the TEA Party Agenda, regardless of the mindless regurgitation of Democrat party propaganda by the spleens and colons of the American party of Marx and Engels is that the TEA Party and its supporters want something that most American’s would happily embrace if not for all the sound and fury from the left that signifies their biggest fear; The TEA Party Agenda prefers an end to run-away spending and more local control (regardless of how much government costs now) becasue it affords taxpayers more control over the process and by extension more control over the spending itself, and more control over how government affects their day to day lives.

No matter what party you affiliate with or even if it is no party at all, local control is the solution to a runaway Federal government filled with tone-deaf politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists, and the rent seeking and crony corporatism that are beyond your reach, spending your future, your children’s future, and beyond.

The Conservative message, the TEA Party message, contrary to the Ruling Class Trotskyite narrative, is not so much a clarion call to chop the General Government into tiny bits, as it is to apportion the power from an elite class of unelected experts in the distant Bureaucracy–fomented by the policy ramblings of semi-elected autocrats–and to move it all closer to the people who must pay the expense accounts and the costs of an otherwise tone-deaf black hole of a government that despises them from a distance.

Put another way, they are not against government and not necessarily against spending money on government, they merely observe that a distant one is more costly, less responsive, and less efficient than one closer to home.

Were we to shift a majority of the responsibility (where the money goes so goes the responsibility) back to more expanded state or local control the spending issues would (rightly) resolve themselves based on the fiscal palate of those paying the bills in the places where the money was being spent.

So where do you stand?  Do you prefer more efficient local control or would you rather see things managed by distant bureaucrats and unpopular presidents and congressman?

To answer that I present my simple questionnaire…

Would you rather have the nexus of government authority that spends your money in your name…

A) …as far away as possible, relying on less local control?

B) …as close to home as possible so that there is more local control?

Who is a better judge of how to spend your money, you and the local and state official whom you elect or should more or most money continue to be diverted to the Federal government so that if  any is left over unpopular Senators and congressman can haggle over taking credit for getting some of it back?

The beauty of this question is that you cannot hide the truth no matter how you answer it.  You are either supporting a majority of policies that keep taxes, spending and policy decisions at the state or local level, or you are not.

If you answered ‘A’ you are a Liberal, Democrat, Progressive, Socialist or even a Marxist who prefers central planning by a distant aristocracy or ruling class.

If you answered ‘B’ you agree with the TEA Party, conservatives and Libertarians.

If you vote like ‘A’ but talk like ‘B’ you are probably in congress of higher elected office, are lying regardless of your party affiliation, and are or aspire to be water carriers for the Liberal, Democrat, Progressive, Socialist or Marxist who stand to benefit personally from central planning by a distant aristocracy or ruling class.

For those who seriously believe that keeping the money and rule making closer to the source of government funding, the ‘B’ people, you really are aligned with TEA Party principles. Taxation, with representation–the important point here being that the representation is available, and responsive to your interests, those of your family, neighbors, towns, cities and even states.

That is really the crux of the entire TEA Party “agenda.”  Giving you increased access to a more local and responsive government that is better capable of responding to real needs you approve of with your dollars.  I know, the Liberal, democrat, Progressive, Socialist or Marxist who prefers central planning by a distant aristocracy or ruling class insist you hate women and minorities but the truth is that you believe that women and minorities (gays, legal immigrants, the handicapped, low-income and entry level workers, union or non union, moderates and swing voters) all benefit from having their money and the political power that comes with it, as close to them as possible.

The local control model keeps your money closer to home.  It connects you more directly to the policies and expenses for which your money is used.   And, you are not only more able to interact with the government tasked with spending your money and therefore more likely and more able to affect who is elected for that purpose–or unelected, as the need arises.

The bureaucracy which answers to your elected representatives cannot act as easily without being tied to the people whose policies have empowered them.

This method does not, as the left insists with the piercing volume and persistence of an unhappy toddler, presume to lessen the expense or expanse of government.  On the contrary, it allows states or cities or towns who feel the need to spend as much on government as they pleases.  In fact,  were we to take the majority of budget items from DC (excluding those few things like national defense and foreign relations and some trade) and shift them all to the states, you could argue that we would (or could) still spend just as much on government in total (more in some locales), have all the same “so called benefits” of all that spending when it was dictated by the general government in DC,  we’d just be doing it at the state level.

What local fiscal tyrant wouldn’t want to get their hands on their states share of a nearly4 trillion a year federal free-for all?

Each state’s share of the Department of Education alone could equal an average of $1.5 Billion more a year for the state budget and that’s just one department.

Enticing?

Let me fatten the pot.  If the money never left, you’d get to use even more of it because it would not go to waste on the collection and management costs of pushing it up into the federal bureaucracy.   So anyone who is serious about cutting costs, serious about cutting costs without cutting services, cannot oppose a move to more local control; local control by default leaves more money available for the programs it is meant for by eliminating extra sets of hands whose cost to maintain nibbles away at the revenue up and down the fiscal food chain.

No one but the TEA Party, Conservatives, and  Libertarians are arguing for the kind of local control that might even begin to bring (or better yet create) that kind of no effort savings to struggling budget writers and those looking to get more from every dollar.

Let’s go back to my simple questionnaire and modify it slightly..

Would it be more cost effective to…

A) …manage the tax dollars as far away from home as possible?

B) …manage tax dollars as close to home as possible?

Same question, more specific.

No one knows what your town, city, county or state needs more than the people who live there; more than the local elected officials tasked with listening to and responding to those needs.  The common sense answer is again ‘B.’   The TEA Party answer is ‘B.’  The Liberal, Democrat, Progressive, Socialist or Marxist who prefers central planning by a distant aristocracy or ruling class answer is ‘A.’  Take your money, send it to a central clearing house, then let distant, tone-deaf, unresponsive, bureaucrats and politicians decide what is best for….them, typically, not you.

They may not have gone to DC planning to think like that but the majority of them end up that way.  The ones who refuse to bow to such a scheme are bullied, intimidated, harassed, and hated upon by…The Liberal, Democrat, Progressive, Socialist or Marxist (and their media allies) who prefers central planning by a distant aristocracy or ruling class.  And there is a cure for that problem that costs absolutely nothing; more local control.  It would serve as less of an incentive for pursuing higher office.  Keep the money home and you keep the scoundrels closer at hand, perhaps preventing them from becoming scoundrels in the first place.

But how could the idea of local control, bringing trillions back to the states from the general government, be in line with the goals of the TEA Party?  Doesn’t the TEA party want to destroy the government.  The only people who believe that are the uninformed or misinformed who have been listening to…The Liberal, Democrat, Progressive, Socialist or Marxist who prefers central planning by a distant aristocracy or ruling class.

Local control empowers local citizens.  Suddenly their vote begins to matter–which, oddly enough, leads to more voting.  Local control leads to more involvement by those paying for things government wants or tries to do with their money.   When the people who pay for government are given the ability to interact more easily with those doing the spending, and the things they are spending those tax dollars on, quite often the spending decreases.

Local control costs less, is better targeted to real need, results in less waste so that there is more available for either that need or some other need, which results in less overall spending and less taxes and fees.

Fewer taxes and fees leave more money in the pockets of working families to spend on things they really want and need, directing money into the economy to places that do the best job of filling those wants and needs.   Did anyone want to argue that you are not the best judge of what you want or need, or are less likley than some bureaucrat in DC to know best how to spend your money to meet a want or need?  We have a lot of people like that.  They are the the Liberal, Democrat, Progressive, Socialist or Marxist who prefers central planning by a distant aristocracy or ruling class– in both parties; there are ample Republicans, independents and so-called moderates who are obsessed with shifting control, revenue, and power out of your reach.

The Tea Party believes that local control saves money, improves how it is spent by ensuring a greater degree of accountability, and by doing so reduces waste and lowers taxes.

Those who oppose this notion, let’s call the Liberal, Democrat, Progressive, Socialist or Marxist who prefers central planning by a distant aristocracy or ruling class– in both parties, would rather the money (and the power) flow through one centrally managed government exchange in Washington DC that makes it nearly impossible for the average tax payer to influence the policies and arrangements they are making with taxpayer dollars.

Local control saves money and improves what and how the government spends money; it does not by default demand that we spend less, though that is likley.

Local control reduces waste, fraud, and abuse because when it is uncovered it will more likley be assigned properly and the perpetrators punished.

Local control increases civic engagement and improves accountability by empowering the electorate to remove officials who ignore them, abuse their trust, or misuse their earnings.  Their vote begins to matter, whether it is to vote to spend more or to spend less.

Local control solves the problem of unresponsive members of congress by giving them less to influence over your tax dollars.  It lessens the abuse of cronyism, removes power from federal lobbyists and special interests, makes out of state campaign donations to federal level campaign less of an investment–and therefore less likely, and subdues the internecine two-party politics, the politicization of the Federal courts, and a host of other ailments.

If you remove the money you remove the power, and return it back to states and local governments, where the poeple paying for it all have more control over the relationship.

Yes, those people can continue to be indifferent if they choose, but the cost of that indifference is more direct and more compelling.  It is more likley to get them off the couch, regardless of whether they want more spending or less.

The professional left, the progressives, the established republicans, the entire government class will not like this argument at all because it challenges their power while removing the “we can’t spend less argument.”   They will not like it because it devolves decision making and the funding for that out of their hands without necessarily denying the programs they claim to support or the money they insist these programs must have.

Each state would be free to spend that and more, but they’d have to do it through local taxes and fees; they could not defer responsibility for that spending to a higher power who is far less responsive to you.  So you would not only empower local government, you would make them more accountable.

These are all TEA Party ideas, and they are not limited to Right wing ideologues.  Most everyone, regardless of party, no-party, or indifference, agrees that congress sucks.  More than a few of us see Executive abuses by both parties as ineffective or wasteful.  Many of us think that the federal courts are politicized as a result of all the money grubbing mechanist crowding the burbs that surround the heart of central planning in DC.  And all of these ‘problems’ are solved with one simple solution.  A return to more state and local control.

Every elected official should be forced to answer, at the very least, the two questions I have posed here.

Remember; it has nothing to do with how much we spend, but who is more likley to be responsible and responsive to how much is spent, why, and where, and how best to hold them accountable for those decisions.  The only answer is ‘B.’

The TEA Party answer is ‘B.’  Any concerned parent or responsible citizen, regardless of party should pick B.   ‘B’ limits the risk of a tyrannical execute.  ‘B’ solves the problem of a congress no one likes.  ‘B’ forces everyone to put your money where their mouth is.

Yes, anyone can answer ‘B’, but this is not some 2700 page bill no one reads or can understand filled with pitfalls and traps that congress need never fear.  It is a simple formula easily tested.  False claims cannot stand up to even the thinnest degree of scrutiny.

They either support devolving a majority of the money and power in government back to the states and the people, or they do not.

Elected officials who answer ‘B’ but have no record of defending or restoring local control by doing more to keep the money and spending at the state and local level, are lying–but more easily called out.  And that includes local candidates for local and state level office, not just related to spending abuses in the states but based on who they endorse and support among state and federal candidates who have a proven history of removing local control to higher levels of government.

Ask them, ‘A’ or ‘B.’  Ask them to prove it.  Make them show you.  Question their complicity with candidates who clearly support policy contrary to state and local control.  Expose them for who they really are.  Share it with your friends and neighbors, in person, on Facebook and Twitter.  At local party meetings and town halls.

Join the project I have dubbed ‘The Social Media Militia.’ (Coming soon to Facebook and beyond…)

Local control reduces waste, and empowers the people.  Local control is the answer.  You are local control.  You are your own local militia against, waste, fraud, abuse, cronyism, corporatism, and an unresponsive federal government–regardless of party or policy.  It’s your money.  It is your right.  They work for you.  Now go ask them the question, share the answers, and let the people judge them accordingly.

Steve is a New Hampshire resident, blogger, and activist. A member of the 603 Alliance, NHCMP, NHRVC, LFGC, and the host of GrokTALK! Please Note: My opinions are my own and not those of my Family, employers, politicians, campaigns, or other contributors or commenters at GraniteGrok