Big government goes wrong — again, and again

Herewith, two more entries for the voluminous annals of big government gone wrong. First, from a New York Times piece related to our recent discussion of Range Fuels:

When the companies that supply motor fuel close the books on 2011, they will pay about $6.8 million in penalties to the Treasury because they failed to mix a special type of biofuel into their gasoline and diesel as required by law.

But there was none to be had. Outside a handful of laboratories and workshops, the ingredient, cellulosic biofuel, does not exist.

Fear not, gentle reader: Washington has an answer for requiring fuel companies to use a biofuel that doesn’t exist. And that answer is — wait for it — to require them to use even more of the still-non-existent biofuel in 2012. (Range Fuels, fwiw, makes a cameo appearance in the penultimate paragraph of the Times’ piece.)

Our second example comes from the locale of the logical conclusion of social-welfarism, Greece. As the Associated Press reports:

Greek disability groups expressed anger Monday at a government decision to expand a list of state-recognized disability categories to include pedophiles, exhibitionists and kleptomaniacs.

The National Confederation of Disabled People called the action “incomprehensible,” and said pedophiles are now awarded a higher government disability pay than some people who have received organ transplants.

The Labor Ministry said categories added to the expanded list — that also includes pyromaniacs, compulsive gamblers, fetishists and sadomasochists — were included for purposes of medical assessment and used as a gauge for allocating financial assistance.

And the Greeks wonder why the bond vigilantes have it in for them?

Set aside for a moment the utter insanity of the specific examples in Greece and the likelihood that they could happen in America anytime soon; after all, it’s not fair to compare professionals with amateurs. The logic of big government is to seek ever more beneficiaries/dependents of its power. Not only that, but it is the logic of big-government supporters to actually believe there is an as-yet-undiscovered group in need of governmental rescue.

Think about it: The awarding of disability payments to pedophiles, exhibitionists, kleptomaniacs, pyromaniacs, compulsive gamblers, fetishists and sadomasochists did not just happen spontaneously. Some Greek-government do-gooders sat down, and studied, and thought Very Serious Thoughts, and came to the conclusion that these groups deserved to be subsidized by everyone else in Greece. And not just subsidized, but in some cases subsidized more heavily than people who are actually disabled!

This does not require conflating people who are actually disabled with pedophiles. They become linked — and said linkage is not made, remember, by advocates of limited government out to destroy the social safety net by denigrating legitimate beneficiaries, but by the big-government folks who declared them equally entitled to disability payments — only because the the logic of big government cannot allow for an immovable limit. The Rubicon must be crossed, then moved, then crossed again, and this process repeated forever. Thus do sensible programs expand inexorably into territory they once would have been laughed out of.

– By Kyle Wingfield

Find me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter

93 comments Add your comment

Voice of Reason

January 11th, 2012
11:40 am

Rafe Hollister

January 11th, 2012
12:07 pm

The sad thing is that the big government free stuff for all folks do not see anything wrong with this. They always dismiss these things as aborations (sp), that when they are in charge they will do socialism better and more efficiently.

LaTanya

January 11th, 2012
12:20 pm

If the EU goes ahead with their multi-billion Euro bailout of the Greek government after learning about this they are complete fools.

Ayn Rant

January 11th, 2012
12:29 pm

Yeh, government shouldn’t be stupid or devious, but it should be right-sized, neither big or small.

The biofuel requirement was a Bush-era idea to reduce US dependence on foreign oil by avoiding conservation, which is the most effective way to reduce energy consumption and dependence. The plan was to continue wasting lots of fuel and pumping lots of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, but do it with more farm products and less imported petroleum. Remember “switch grass”? Whatever happened to that?

What’s the Greek government got to do with us, and why are we “likely” to follow their example? I don’t know of anybody advocating disability benefits for fit, working age pedophiles. Of course, they lose their medical coverage when they’re released from prison, so they may need Medicaid and food stamps, just like scores of millions of other Americans who don’t have jobs that pay a living wage and provide health care and retirement benefits.

Why don’t we spend a little money on nation-building and job creation here at home, now that we’ve put Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan on the path to peace and prosperity, and settled the Arab/Israeli conflict? And, whatever happened to that “peace dividend” that we were supposed to enjoy after the Soviet Union imploded?

Byte Me

January 11th, 2012
12:39 pm

Conflating biofuel subsidies with pedophile disability payments in another country.

So wrong in so many ways.

I’ve been pondering a different topic today, Kyle. One that might use some more brain power than what you just wrote.

It’s this: was the end of the Cold War actually a good thing for America or did it fragment our enemies into a thousand points of darkness with no overriding control, making us more vulnerable?

MarkV

January 11th, 2012
12:41 pm

Kyle,
Your writing about Greece could be used as an example of a “cheap shot.” It has nothing to do with our country. You can find stupid things done by any government, small or big. There is nothing in the Greece example that makes it specific for any government size.

carlosgvv

January 11th, 2012
12:50 pm

You can look at any extreme Govt., either conservative or liberal and trash it. The obvious answer is a centerist Govt. Unfortunately, in America we’ve devolved into looney liberal and even loonier conservative.

Don't Tread

January 11th, 2012
12:50 pm

I have a different idea of a “pedophile subsidy”, which has nothing to do with money, except the amount required to manufacture a rope, several thousand watts of electricity, or a round of ammunition.

Is cellulosic biofuel the same thing as wood ethanol? :roll:

Intown

January 11th, 2012
12:54 pm

The biofuel thing doesn’t bother me. There is a legislative solution (and perhaps even a regulatory/administrative solution) to the tax penalty issue if the biofuel truly is unavailable. The law sounds calibrated to help generate innovation in the biofuel sector.

I think Kyle is having an off day today.

@@

January 11th, 2012
12:54 pm

This is where unbridled libertarians would argue that free people are rational and make rational decisions.

When it comes to the legalization of drugs, I’ve had this discussion with liberals AND libertarians, alike. When I asked how we might deal with the unintended consequences (drug addictions) they responded with “open up more treatment facilities.” Since it’s not MY problem (drug addiction) why would I wanna pay for the consequences of THEIR actions?

Useful tools for the government to exploit.

If allowed to choose between death by their own hand or death to ALL by the government’s hand, I’ll go with death by their own hand. Their choice…their consequences.

Byte Me

January 11th, 2012
1:01 pm

This is where unbridled libertarians would argue that free people are rational and make rational decisions.

Which is why, after reading the comments from Kyle’s ragtag group of commenters, I think unbridled libertarians are starting off with a horribly wrong supposition.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

January 11th, 2012
1:10 pm

Subsidizing pedophiles is mere kid stuff. Here in the US, we subsidize folks so they can murder their unborn children.

stranger in a strange land

January 11th, 2012
1:12 pm

recall ‘black liquor’ which was a subsidy to paper companies to call something an alternative fuel when it was nothing more that waste product – lot more than a measly 6.8 mil involved there. The IP’s and GP’s of the world miss that windfall.

And dam##it Kyle – why’d you have to go and give any ideas to pedophiles, et al over here?This ‘disability’ coming to a legislature near you soon, and just think, then we get to pay for Sandusky and his ilk to be ‘treated’. Won’t that be nice

carlosgvv

January 11th, 2012
1:13 pm

Barry

So we award disability payments to women who have abortions? Wow! I didn’t know that.

td

January 11th, 2012
1:15 pm

The article just proves in what direction we are heading if we do not remove Obama from office.

Iconoclast

January 11th, 2012
1:19 pm

Don’t be fooled for one moment into thinking the oil companies and speculators didn’t bring political influence to bear on the biofuels policy. How else would the bread-basket of the world have allowed sustainable food crops to be converted to fuels? The sucking sound your wallet makes at the pump rings a big “cha-ching” in Con-Agra and ADM’s share-value.

Byte Me

January 11th, 2012
1:22 pm

The article just proves

Proves!!!!

Hahahahaha… td sounding like Bill Orvis White now.

Iconoclast

January 11th, 2012
1:23 pm

Lil’ Barry Bailout, unless you’ve adopted and spared unwanted children from their mothers’ untenable “choice,” you should take your ball of hypocritical vitriol and move to Iran or North Korea when the governemnt’s intrusion on private lives will be more to your liking.

Byte Me

January 11th, 2012
1:23 pm

So we award disability payments to women who have abortions? Wow! I didn’t know that.

Yeah, it gets funneled from PBS to Planned Parenthood via ACORN, doncha know?

ByteMe

January 11th, 2012
1:27 pm

Oh, and protected by Black Panthers.

Hillbilly D

January 11th, 2012
1:28 pm

Why don’t we just require everybody to use a perpetual motion machine? That ought to work.

This is where unbridled libertarians would argue that free people are rational and make rational decisions.

You never can get them to believe it but that goes against basic human nature. If free people are rational and always make rational decisions, or as Alan Greenspan used to preach, decisions that are in their own best interest, why does the alcoholic take another drink, why does the junkie look for another fix, why does the gambler keep thinking he’s going to hit that big score, and you can go on and on. You can debate the role of ggovernment in that and many other things but anybody who thinks people are always rational and always make rational decisions, is just naive. Nobody always makes rational decisions, they don’t, I don’t, nobody does.

td

January 11th, 2012
1:32 pm

Iconoclast

January 11th, 2012
1:23 pm
Lil’ Barry Bailout, unless you’ve adopted and spared unwanted children from their mothers’ untenable “choice,” you should take your ball of hypocritical vitriol and move to Iran or North Korea when the governemnt’s intrusion on private lives will be more to your liking.

And where is the speech about taking some personal responsibility for ones actions? While you are at it talk about consequences for the decisions one makes. Yes, let us kill and child instead of holding an adult responsible for their actions. To satisfy the primal urge trumps life? Is this what you are trying to tell us?

Rafe Hollister

January 11th, 2012
2:44 pm

Pat Buchanan suspended from MSNBC. I thought Liberals liked diversity and tolerance. Guess not, huh?

Guess the MSNBC crowd will not have to be bored with thinking anymore, just tunein and absorb.

Somali Republican

January 11th, 2012
2:46 pm

My government is proving to be the best choice. Can show one’s ability by the size of his boot straps. No government interference, just free market forces in play. Fantastic jobs program too.

Dusty

January 11th, 2012
2:47 pm

Well, looks like we have some budding journalists here who think they know better than Kyle what to write. Do let us know when you get a job with one of the largest newspapers in the southeast. We look forward to reading your newspaper items.

As to Greece, that is a classic example of what happens when big government gets bigger and bigger and more in debt. So Kyle reminds us of what happens when government gets bigger and bigger with no end in sight.

The wise will listen. The rest? Let the next election tell us.

Road Scholar

January 11th, 2012
2:47 pm

LBB: How about the right of choice? I take responsibility of every CHOICE I make! And you don’t HAVE to have an abortion! It’s called choice (Now that is scary…LBB having children!

wallbanger

January 11th, 2012
2:51 pm

Well Kyle has a point. There is always someone willing to take any handout that is offered. We almost have the same situation as Greece right here when you think about it. We have drug dependent people living off the dole squeezed from the pocket of working people. We don’t test them before we support their useless lives. Why not? And what right do they have to go on living at the expense of the responsible?

Somali Republican

January 11th, 2012
2:57 pm

True that wally. Ship them off to a jungle to never be heard from again is what is in order.

Linda

January 11th, 2012
3:00 pm

Greece has been bailed out several times. In ‘09, the new Socialist govt. cooked the books. The budget deficit forecast was revised from 6.8% to 15.4%.

“The US provided $108 B in global bailout money to the International Monetary Fund…Pres. Obama has now committed the US to a second Greek bailout, which could total another $100 B…”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303714704576383094006022406.html

The US funds about 20% of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Dusty

January 11th, 2012
3:11 pm

HillBilly D,

Of course some of us make rational decisions!! Well, that is until we start blogging. Then rationality turns into rants and runs wild!!

Sometimes blog rehab helps. Then comes the weak moment! It’s addictive folks! Crazy! You can see the addicts here, day after day, posting their hearts away.

Some may fall and twitter or go to facebook! I demand a new law for these poor souls. Let them eat cake & drink so they can stay with their love, the internet. Yes, yes, more BlogAid, the newest program to help the afflicted. Go big gov!!

(These are not serious statements. But tell the Greeks nothing, They might give it some thought.)

Logical Dude

January 11th, 2012
3:14 pm

quoth: Some Greek-government do-gooders sat down, and studied, and thought Very Serious Thoughts, and came to the conclusion that these groups deserved to be subsidized by everyone else in Greece.

No no no. . .
some BUDDY of the do-gooder paid the do-gooder for this.
Of course the BUDDY is the one with issues, and has friends with issues. . . the types of issues that would be government paid.

Kyle Wingfield

January 11th, 2012
3:18 pm

Logical: Are you suggesting government officials are likely to associate with kleptomaniacs and sadomasochists? Interesting…

(That’s a joke…or as my J-school professor used to say, an alleged joke…)

clyde

January 11th, 2012
3:19 pm

Kyle can write anything he chooses;then we snipe away.

What’s wrong with calling black liquor an alternative fuel? In the mill where I worked we burned it in recovery boilers to produce steam and also to recover the cooking chemicals.Another boiler burned bark.This is another alternative fuel.The bark used to be landfilled in a bark dump.Both boilers were equipped to burn bunker c oil.Tthis might also be classified as an alternative fuel.

Linda

January 11th, 2012
3:26 pm

Here we are laughing as the new list of those entitled in Greece. What you don’t know is that 3 years ago, the Greeks were laughing their heads off at the list of entities that received the TRILLION dollars we borrowed from China to pay for an Economic Stimulus Bill that we are still waiting on to stimulate our economy, a bill promised to prevent unemployment, which was only 7.8%, from exceeding 8%, which exceeded 10%, & which is still at 8.5%, unless you count ALL the people who are unemployed.

Hillbilly D

January 11th, 2012
3:28 pm

clyde

Good point. I think the trick to energy independence is to not put all our eggs in one basket, which is what we’ve done with petroleum, to a large extent. It’s true that motor vehicle fuels need to be somewhat standard, so we can move around the country and re-fuel, wherever we have to be but a lot of things can be localized. I read a couple years ago, where a small town in KY is getting electricity by burning chicken manure. It solves two local problems, generating electricity and gets rid of the manure, which solves the problem of disposal. Now, of course, that won’t work on a large scale but not everything needs to be on a large scale. Think of how our ancestors lived. Those on the shore ate seafood, those inland ate whatever crops would grow in their area, etc. One area of the country might be good for wind power, one for wave power, one for solar, etc. Virtually every community of any size has a landfill, which generates methane gas, which could at least partially supply energy needs of the community. The one size fits all approach is what is going to hamstring us, until we wise up.

Bart Abel

January 11th, 2012
3:39 pm

The logic of big government is to seek ever more beneficiaries/dependents of its power. Not only that, but it is the logic of big-government supporters to actually believe there is an as-yet-undiscovered group in need of governmental rescue.

Clear, Kyle is in no position to ascribe (false) motives onto others. This bizarre piece also demonstrates that he is in no position to critique the logic of others.

For every example that Kyle can find of government gone bad (and we know he’s out there looking), there are thousands of examples of corporations gone bad.

Progressives seek to regulate the activities of corporations–to prevent unfair, unethical, or deadly business practices–not eliminate them. But when Kyle finds an example of government gone bad, then that somehow demonstrates that the answer must be smaller government everywhere, no matter how effective the slashed components had been in improving and saving lives.

The Greeks have passed a stupid law. Therefore, the logic goes, we should slash our government where is makes our food, air, and water safer or where it gives millions of us access to quality, affordable health care.

Before one claims the mantle of reasonableness, he should develop the ability to reason.

MarkV

January 11th, 2012
3:42 pm

This argument must take some prize: The Greece government decided to expand a list of state-recognized disability categories to include pedophiles, exhibitionists and kleptomaniacs because it got more in debt. Amazing.

Dusty

January 11th, 2012
4:10 pm

Logical dude,

The question is “how many ‘loose screws’ can any government support when it seems that the number of this category increases every day?”. The Greeks have not differentiated between the seriously afflicted by health & poverty with the deviants of society. They have put them all together as “needy”. True, all of them may be needy, but do all of them deserve government assistance. .

The true dogooders will say help anyone who is needy. BUT they are asking the government to do the helping. Somewhere the government has become the nanny/caregiver to a growing nuimber of “dependents”.. The socialists agrees because he wants everything controlled by government anyway..

Well…..I’m just trying to figure out this “needy” thing and not doing too well at it. But I do know that I do not want to lose one iota of freedom aka the American way. Somehow that is getting harder to maintain with government growing bigger and demanding more every day from the independent. citizen .

Dusty

January 11th, 2012
4:27 pm

HillBilly D,

I think we are beginning to wise up. Come next January, I hope the wise will take over. If not, we’ll have a lot more than chicken manure to burn up.

One question: how in the world do they get rid of the smell of burning chicken manure? An AirFresh plant on the other side of town?

Linda

January 11th, 2012
4:30 pm

How can progressives seek to regulate corporations when they have no clue what corporations are? The word corporation is derived from the Latin word “corpus” or body of people.
Progressives think corporations are tall highrises or employ thousands of people. They’re not & they don’t. In most states, it only takes one person & never more than 3 people to incorporate. A corporate charter grants people certain legal rights of a single individual but limits their liabilities.
The main difference between a corporation & a small business is a piece of paper. Size is inconsequential.
The main reason people incorporate is for limited liability.
The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are people. Corporations have always been people. Just like churches & places of worship are not buildings. They are the people, the members.

Darvocet spending

January 11th, 2012
4:51 pm

MarkV

January 11th, 2012
12:41 pm

Kyle,
Your writing about Greece could be used as an example of a “cheap shot.” It has nothing to do with our country. You can find stupid things done by any government, small or big. There is nothing in the Greece example that makes it specific for any government size.

That’s standard conservative fare, it’s called a strawman argument. Kyle’s really good at making them.

Darvocet spending

January 11th, 2012
4:54 pm

Linda

January 11th, 2012
4:30 pm

How can progressives seek to regulate corporations when they have no clue what corporations are? The word corporation is derived from the Latin word “corpus” or body of people.
Progressives think corporations are tall highrises or employ thousands of people. They’re not & they don’t. In most states, it only takes one person & never more than 3 people to incorporate. A corporate charter grants people certain legal rights of a single individual but limits their liabilities.
The main difference between a corporation & a small business is a piece of paper. Size is inconsequential.
The main reason people incorporate is for limited liability.
The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are people. Corporations have always been people. Just like churches & places of worship are not buildings. They are the people, the members.

Corporations aren’t people fyi

Stephenson Billings

January 11th, 2012
4:56 pm

‎”Everyone wants to live at the expense of the State. They forget that the State lives at the expense of everyone.” – Frédéric Bastiat

Darvocet spending

January 11th, 2012
4:56 pm

Somali Republican

January 11th, 2012
2:46 pm

My government is proving to be the best choice. Can show one’s ability by the size of his boot straps. No government interference, just free market forces in play. Fantastic jobs program too.

gahahahha

Linda

January 11th, 2012
5:01 pm

Davocet@4:54, Anyone, even you, can take your checkbook downtown tomorrow & become a corporation. Would that make you any less of a human being?

Linda

January 11th, 2012
5:09 pm

I had to look up the word “sadomasochists.” I have interpreted it to be interchangeable with liberals.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

January 11th, 2012
5:09 pm

Greek disability groups expressed anger Monday at a government decision to expand a list of state-recognized disability categories to include pedophiles, exhibitionists and kleptomaniacs.

G*d Hates Trash- It looks like you could make a bunch of money off the government if you moved to Greece.

I’ll bet Delta is ready when you are, freak.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

January 11th, 2012
5:14 pm

Commenting on the silly premise of the previous blog, when Romney wins Kalifornia, will that be consider another “solid victory” or be seen as an indication of all the fruitcakes that live there?

Like all the ones living in New Hampshire.

Paul finished a strong second if you were wondering how weird that state is.

Darvocet spending

January 11th, 2012
5:19 pm

Linda

January 11th, 2012
5:01 pm

Davocet@4:54, Anyone, even you, can take your checkbook downtown tomorrow & become a corporation. Would that make you any less of a human being?

Look at this. Just look at it.

I would still be human, my corporation would be an entity that exists on paper.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

January 11th, 2012
5:24 pm

Remember all the “sorrowful” photos in the Urinal of Koreans “mourning” the “loss” of Kim Ill Kook? That I told you was propaganda?

North Korea Reportedly Punishing Those Who Didn’t Sufficiently Mourn Kim Jong Il

How come I knew this but the AJC didn’t?

What about the recent fake Iranian missile pictures adorning the pages of the AJC?

So our they just simple jackasses or are they siding up with our enemies?