“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” is a Yankee proverb.
“If it ain’t broke, keep fixing it ’til it is broke,” is a government proverb.
A hundred years ago, the federal government “fixed” the mouth of the Saco River in Maine by building a jetty. They started the project around 1825 when textile mills a little upstream were thriving. The idea was to deepen the river channel and allow ships to travel up to the mills. By the time the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) finished nearly a century later, the mills had begun their decline. As the Portland Press Herald reports: “‘All this made the jetty seem like a good idea at the time,’ said Patrick Fox, director of Saco’s Public Works Department. But the jetty no longer seems to be the solution it once represented; in fact, it has become a very expensive and controversial problem.”
Because the jetty altered ocean currents, dozens of houses north of it in Saco have washed into the sea and dozens more are threatened. So now the government is going to “fix it” again, spending $27 million to build still another jetty 750 feet long and perpendicular to the one they finished a century ago. Then they’ll haul in 400,000 cubic yards of sand to replenish the beach, a process they’ll have to repeat every 3-10 years at a further cost of $3 million to the city of Saco each time. “The Camp Ellis [Saco] beach shoreline has shown continued erosion since the early 1900s. We have a problem that we have some responsibility to correct,” says the ACOE.
Patrick Fox says, “It won’t be permanent in (the sense) that it’ll be fixed forever. It will always require maintenance; it will always require funding.” Fox sounds dubious and who can blame him? It’s his town and whatever the feds do there ultimately becomes his headache.
Consider the “help” Saco and Biddeford Maine got from the feds over the centuries for their relatively small community, then think about how the feds are now “fixing” our nation’s entire health-care system. Consider also that the man who wrote most of the plan, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), described this government fix as a “train wreck.”
The “Affordable Care Act” is a misnomer to begin with because it’s driving up costs even before full implementation. Like the Saco River project, Obamacare is making things worse, and it will add costs to local communities for generations to come.
Then come government plans to “fix” the entire climate of the planet and stop oceans from rising. Talk about hubris. Their insistence that climate change is caused by humans and can therefore be reversed by humans, is cited as one justification for their newest Saco River “fix.” Lost on them is the historical fact that all the sand they’re trying to control was deposited by glacial melt during the massive global warming 10,000 years ago when there were very few humans around anywhere to cause it.
Now government plans to fundamentally change our entire economy to reduce or eliminate fossil fuels in favor of windmills and solar panels in their effort to fix the climate.
And on it goes.
Government forces banks to send us endless letters explaining how they’ll guarantee our privacy, then it saves all our emails, phone calls, and internet searches in a massive data bank.
Government forces teachers, nurses, hospitals, counselors, and countless other professionals to maintain the privacy of every student, patient, or client with whom they work, then it amasses all our digitized records and saves them all in a huge data bank. All this data is accessible by the IRS – the same agency that leaked private information on political opponents of the Obama Administration, then persecuted and harassed anyone who disagreed with the president.
Government insists that it won’t read our emails or listen to our phone calls unless we’re communicating with a foreign terrorist – and expects us to believe it. Trust us, they say. We won’t abuse this information. We’re only doing it for your protection.
Government will protect our secrets just as it protected national security secrets like the highly-classified Stuxnet computer virus US and Israeli intelligence used to forestall Iranian nuclear weapons development. According to a Monday article in The Washington Times, the Obama Administration leaked that secret to the New York Times, and then leaked details about the Seal Team Six raid on Osama Bin Laden “to burnish Mr. Obama’s credentials as commander in chief as the 2012 election approached.”
Remember when government spent $1 trillion in stimulus money to fix our economy and it didn’t fix our economy? Economist Thomas Sowell insists it wasn’t stimulus money because we got no stimulus. Quoting Abraham Lincoln, he said: “If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does the dog have? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”
Wish government would stop fixing things for us? I sure do.
Family Security Matters Contributing Editor Tom McLaughlin is a (now retired) history teacher and a regular weekly columnist for newspapers in Maine and New Hampshire. He writes about political and social issues, history, family, education and Radical Islam.