To the Editor: Looking for a successful federal program PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by John Chapman   
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 09:36
This letter is in response to the letter by Russ Frye in the Sentinel-Tribute on Oct. 10 ("Government has run some successful programs"). I respect your opinion, but could not disagree more.
You state that the CARS Act was a huge success and well-run program, but all you cite is evidence from the government Web site. You don't suppose it could be slightly biased do you? I talked with two car dealers that participated in the program and they both stated it was a fiasco. One even stated that he had to call a customer back the day after he closed the deal when the government changed the rules the following day and took some makes/models off the eligibility list. But more importantly, when did it become the federal government's place to spend nearly $3 billion to buy old cars, and with a federal debt of $40 trillion, is that really a good idea?
You cite the Medicare insurance program as being well run. Well, maybe your definition of a well run program includes massive fraud, waste and abuse, but mine does not. Let me quote President Obama from his Oct. 9 speech, "Reducing the waste and inefficiencies in Medicare and Medicaid will pay for most of this plan." (His plan costs just under $900 billion) Last year, a Senate report revealed that Medicare had recently paid out $92.8 million to doctors that had been dead for years!
How about Social Security? Every month workers in the private sector and their employers send in billions of tax dollars for the "mandatory federal retirement program". Is this money placed in a retirement fund? No, it is promptly spent by the government, and IOUs are placed in the SS Trust Fund! (Of course, all government workers are exempt, and have their own retirement program).
Let me get this correct; $79 million to bomb the moon?! Was that well spent tax dollars?
How about FEMA? A billion dollar budget and they seem to do just fine until they're required to respond to an emergency. Remember their response to Katrina?
But my favorite is the $2.6 billion in the current defense appropriations bill for systems that the Defense Department does not want!
Maybe you are correct in that the federal government can run a successful program, it's just that I haven't seen one lately. Maybe next time your assessment should consider the costs, as well as the benefits.
John Chapman
Bowling Green

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