WAGUESPACK: The Customer Has Spoken

Should government run like a business?

Those that bow at the altar of big and all-encompassing government to solve every societal issue usually howl at any thought of government running like a business. These loyalists to government growth have never seen a problem that more money, programs or mandates could not fix.

Health care outcomes not where we need them to be? No problem, just pass massive taxes and mandates on the folks providing coverage to employees with the intention of shifting more people into government run coverage. As a precaution to make sure the market-destroying effect is felt by all, throw a universal mandate on everyone to purchase a consumer product.

Educational outcomes for our children falling short of expectations? No worries, just oppose providing choice for parents and accountability for school systems whenever possible, and instead just rely on more taxpayer money to expand the public delivery systems that have produced low outcomes for generations.

Congress not moving fast enough to stop sensible domestic energy production? Big deal, just use the EPA, Department of State, Department of Interior, and any other agency necessary to stifle job-producing projects like the Keystone XL pipeline and implement job-crushing environmental mandates to smother energy producers and customers while leaving competitors like China and India off the hook completely.

Of course, there are necessary roles for government to play in addressing the pressing issues of our time. Crime plagues too many of our communities and a strong role of law enforcement to keep our streets safe is a necessity. The threats of terrorism overseas and on our shores will continue to be a growing concern as the years go by, requiring a strong and effective military and intelligence effort from government. In numerous other issue areas, a smart and balanced role for government exists to ensure that the rights of our people are protected. Nevertheless, we simply must stop the current trend of massive bureaucratic efforts at all levels trampling free markets and citizen freedom in the name of government growth.

If you do not agree, then you were not paying attention last Tuesday.

Voters across the country turned out at the polls to deliver a clear message to their elected officials:  Stop the flow of government growth in our lives.

In this election cycle, that message benefitted Republican candidates more than others. The GOP now holds 31 governor seats, reclaimed control of the Senate by taking over seven seats (not including Louisiana) and increased their majority in the House of Representatives to 244 seats with a few more races yet to be called.

Several factors weighed down Democratic candidates across the board, most importantly, the extreme unpopularity of the president’s policies. This president has made it his mission since his inauguration to expand the reach of government in every aspect of American lives. The results are an expensive and intrusive record of spending and mandates that have produced poor economic results. The breaking point has come and the American people are trying to send a crystal clear directive to its leaders that they want a new approach.

This message of change is deafening, simple and directed at all parties equally. The only question is will our elected officials hear it?

A business owner would hear it. Any employer knows that listening to your customers and meeting their demand is job number one. You flunk this part of the exam and your business is expelled. The customer drives the expectations and the smart business owners respond to their market.

For a business owner, the customer comes first. A business owner usually has a mortgage on the property, a line of credit at the bank and inventory to manage. They know they have to determine their products based upon the needs of their customers and price those products in a way that keeps customers coming back for more. They borrow only what they can afford to pay back because they know if they acquire too much debt, the business will close down. The consequences are real and personal and they drive responsibility and accountability for a business owner each and every day.

Compare this to the current mindset in Washington, D.C. They increasingly borrow more every year without any real concern for how future generations will pay it back. If the market tells them something they don’t want to hear, they just mandate it, tax it or regulate it until the market is manipulated enough to give them the answer they want. Sound bites and smoke screens are thrown around like tennis balls in a park in hopes that the American people will chase these diversions around while they implement their government-growth agenda right under our noses.

This trend must stop and the people sent that message last Tuesday.

Should government run like a business? In truth, that is the wrong question to ask.

Can government listen like a business? The people, its customers, have spoken and they want change.

Can government respond like a business? The customer is demanding that our elected officials embrace responsible budgeting practices and a more market-driven approach to governing.

Can government spend responsibly like a business? When your name is on the note and the fiscal consequences are yours alone, your motivations for spending sensibly are increased greatly.

Let’s hope they get the message this time. Let’s hope they listen, respond and spend responsibly like a business. The customer is always right and the American people want change.

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