Original Ideas

By Louis Avallone

The trouble with too many elected officials is that there is no idea too stupid for them to subsidize with your money. After all, these bureaucrats have more of your money than they do any original ideas of their own. In fact, many of them would not recognize an original idea if it bit them on the butt.

Instead of leading, our elected officials prefer to be more chameleon-like, and simply be what others want them to be.

But that’s backwards, right? Authentic leaders don’t watch polls to win popularity contests, or calibrate their convictions to win elections. They do the hard work of first setting goals, and then taking initiative.

They spend money on projects that are for the public good, and not merely on projects that help them while they are in office. Genuine leaders are transparent and they cut costs first, instead of raising your taxes. They set examples of good behavior for us, instead of merely legislating what’s good for us. They don’t blame, and they take responsibility for their actions.

As long as government has more of our money than good ideas, this type of leader will become more nostalgic in today’s “modern” world – and increasingly rare among elected officials everywhere.

In fact, Margaret Thatcher once wrote, “Do you know that one of the great problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thoughts and ideas?” Maybe that’s why our federal government spent almost $600,000 to study where in a chimpanzee’s brain they get the idea to throw feces. Or why they spent $200 million to fund a reality television show in India to advertise U.S. cotton.

Or why Congress spent over $1 trillion in economic stimulus spending, when the results were record unemployment rates and the highest number ever of Americans collecting food stamps. Is there really any question that it was a good idea?

Or was it really a good idea for the President to propose a $1.5 trillion health care expansion and a $15 billion Medicaid bailout, when over 93,000 of our fellow Louisianans are still receiving cancellation notices for their health insurance, and premium costs are expected to rise, even for healthy citizens of our state, by an average of 266 percent this year?

Is there really any question that $3.7 billion in emergency spending on immigration is a good idea right now, when the current administration is encouraging the very activity that makes $3.7 billion in spending necessary in the first place? If this President won’t enforce immigration laws, aren’t we are only encouraging more illegal activity, and the billions in spending needed to deal with it?

These are all proof-positive examples of a system of government that has more of your money than they do good ideas. If the government spending more of your money was all that was needed to reduce the unemployment rate, pay down the federal debt, decrease the poverty rate, lower healthcare costs, and increase national security at our borders, wouldn’t we have achieved all of this long, long, long ago?

Especially in this election year, the leadership model for our elected officials, which currently measures leadership success by money and power, must be retired, and sent off to the scrap yard of history. We must elect leaders now who have more ideas – and not just more of our money – to solve our country’s most pressing problems.

Perhaps it is true that politics is the only profession for which no preparation is thought necessary. But if this remains the conventional wisdom, then how can we really be surprised with the results?

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