WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 09: Pentagon Principal Deputy Defense Undersecretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Alan Estevez testifies about military equipment given to local law enforcement departments by the federal government during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing about at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 9, 2014 in Washington, DC. In the wake of the Ferguson, MO, police response to peaceful protests, senators on the committee were critical of the federal grant programs that allow local and state law enforcement agencies to buy armored vehicles, assult rifles, body armor and other military equipment. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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We pay for a lot of government. Over $3 trillion each year just the run the basic stuff — then we borrow billions more to fill in the gaps.

The main thing government does is distribute money that it takes in from taxes and other fees and sources.

What Do We Get For Our Bucks?

We get a president, two houses of Congress, a Supreme Court and a military. There’s a bunch of other stuff too.

Food and Drug, Homeland Security, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Justice Department, a whole bunch of czars, forest service, national parks, and postal service.

Doesn’t seem like a lot for $3+ trillion does it?

How Much Can We Do For Ourselves?

There are some things that we do need the federal government to do for us. Montana probably has some of the best shots in the world, in fact it was a guy from Butte that shot bin Laden, but there is no way we can fund a standing army.

But there are some things that the federal government does that I think would be better left to us.

The first would be Education. Education is nothing more than communication between people. Education is valuable at all levels in order for people to be successful in life.

One level of education builds on the previous one. We learn to read and write then move to math and other subjects.

Pay to Play

We pay our congressional representatives a lot of money. I realize that Washington, D.C. is not the most economical place to live. But it sure seems like there are a lot of perks that don’t dip into the wallets of those who are supposed to be serving us.

Things like taxpayer funded health clubs, a salon and barbershop, leased or rented cars for lawmakers at taxpayer expense, healthcare benefits “Joe Six Pack” doesn’t get, and taxpayer funded trips (it’s less of a problem if we call them “junkets”) to the four corners of the world with most everything being comped.

Some Final Thoughts

Not bad for working about 3 months out of the year keeping gridlock under control. Is it any wonder that every April 15 we find ourselves asking, “What do they do with all the money?”

I’m guessing those overstuffed, high-back, swivel chairs are really comfortable while grilling some underling about some scandal.

But, as Billy Crystal uses to say on Saturday Night Live, “It’s better to look good than to be good.”

They are sharp dressers and always have a nice haircut. Just send me the bill.

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