The GSA scandal for dummies

By Tom Quiner

Taxpayers have legitimate reason to be outraged by the GSA.

The watchdog of government spending, the General Services Administration, went on a fun-filled spending binge on our buck.

Quiner’s Diner offers three observations on this state of affairs:

1. By and large, we have outstanding men and women working in our governments at every level. I know many of these people at the local, state, and even federal level. I am consistently impressed by their commitment to their profession. I know a conservative isn’t supposed to say anything nice about government, but I will when it is due.

Government scandals get a lot of ink as they should. Sometimes they overshadow the good work being done by dedicated public servants who are doing valuable work on behalf of our communities.

2. Financial scandals occur in the private sector as well. People are flawed wherever they work.

3. Having said all of that, the larger point was originally expressed by Milton Friedman, and repeated last night on Fox News by Charles Krauthammer:

“It’s a basic tenet of human nature that if you’re spending other people’s money you’ll be less careful than you would with your own, and that’s the central argument against big government…”

The federal government is way too large. Conservatives believe government works best when it is close to the people. The Obama administration disagrees. They have expanded the number of unionized federal employees at the expense of accountability and local government.

I won’t typecast government workers, because I know better. I thank those doing such great work.

But I call on the next administration to reduce the size of the federal government for the sake of fiscal and managerial accountability, and to return more resources to our states and local communities.