Government Watch / Politics

Our Blundering, Intrusive Government


Our government seeks more and more control.

Our government is not competent.

These two statements are both true, and together amount to a nightmare for institutional credibility. A government that seeks more control must at the very least demonstrate credibility in implementing its goals; a government that is incompetent can only regain legitimacy by limiting its authority. And yet we have a government that presents the worst of both worlds: incapacity to perform its most basic functions, combined with an ever-expanding encroachment into daily life.

Thus, this week, the Federal Aviation Administration was forced to ground virtually all flights in the United States after an outage in the so-called Notice to Air Missions systems, designed to warn pilots of weather problems, runway issues or other obstacles. The NOTAM system relies on a reportedly outmoded computer system that has not been updated for years. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who is most famous for taking a two-month paternity leave and then bragging about it repeatedly on national television, helpfully commented, “There was a systems issue overnight that led to a ground stop because of the way safety information was moving through the system.” He then reported this problem to President Joe Biden, who helpfully commented that Buttigieg ought to “restore the system quickly and safely, and to determine causes.”

Job well done, gentlemen.

The air traffic control nightmare is but the latest example of a government well over its skis. Whether we are talking about the nation’s scattershot but brutal COVID-19 lockdown and mandate policies, its utter incapacity to handle a historically unprecedented flood of illegal immigration across our southern border, railroad strikes barely averted by congressional force or the inability to recruit members of our military, our government seems to be failing repeatedly at issues that implicate core competency.

And yet at the same time, our government proves itself shockingly unable to perform its most basic functions, it continues to expand its ambitions. Thus, this week, we found out that the Consumer Product Safety Commission may consider banning gas stoves in the home, supposedly thanks to the risk of childhood asthma caused. There are approximately 40 million households in the United States currently using gas stoves.

When governments promise much but deliver little — and when they seek to control much, but only succeed in controlling the most minute and irritating aspects of daily life — they lose their legitimacy. And that is precisely what has been occurring over the course of the last century in the United States. The growth of the regulatory state means that government now reaches into the nooks and crannies of the lives of its citizens — and yet government cannot actually do the most basic things required of it. The response of citizens, unsurprisingly, is distrust in government itself.

But that distrust does not manifest, unfortunately, in widespread calls by citizens to restrict the size, scope and intrusion of government. Instead, it manifests as a cry to “elect the right people.” This is a category error. The problem with our government is not one of staffing, but one of incentives — and all the incentives are on the side of inefficiency, blundering and encroachment. That is not likely to stop until the American people recognize that they can have competent government or intensely involved government, but not both. In a representative republic, the problems of government are, in the end, the problems of the people who vote for them.

Ben Shapiro, 38, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” and co-founder of Daily Wire+. He is a three-time New York Times bestselling author; his latest book is “The Authoritarian Moment: How The Left Weaponized America’s Institutions Against Dissent.” To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website.


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James P.
1 month ago

The Worst-President Ever.

Robin Walter Boyd
2 months ago

Our government is just people we have allowed to be put into positions of power over US. We are to blame by allowing Progressive Socialists to dominate government. All Progressives need to be removed from all government positions.

Ben Ray
2 months ago

On target – we have a Federal Government which is bloated, costly, inefficient, ineffective and no longer responsive to the needs of it’s constituents.
Do you want DC dictating your health care or should it be between you and your doctor? Do you want Federal bureaucrats deciding how and what your child should learn in school or you and your local school boards?
These are rights for individuals and the states. The people need to regain control of Washington DC!
– Impose fiscal restraints on the federal government
– Limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress
– Limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government
==> Congress will never fix these issues.
Article V empowers the States to put forward Amendments! This starts with us the people!
Become informed and engaged: SIGN THE PETITION and/or volunteer to help the movement. I thank you. America thanks you.   

William Boylan
2 months ago

NOTAM – Notice to Air Missions, FKA Notice to Airmen. Changed because it was sexist.

How stupid. At least 1/3 of the AIRMEN I served with were female. Being called “Airman” was never a problem.

Jeff Topps
2 months ago

Buttjudge is the current iteration of Alfred E. Newman, cover boy for Mad magazine.

2 months ago

Wake up Americans, the War on Fossil fuels will only add to this type of problem. Just think if the USA was operating 50% of the car/trucks as EVehicles & nobody has power to recharge them.

2 months ago

The USA is getting more & more dependent on computers every day. So far , we have seen warnings of what happens during cyberattacks & power failures. Both Democrats & Republicans must come together to prevent this from happening. The 700-Club has warned of Cyber & Grid attacks for +5 years now & ask your Congressman what has been done.

Broccoli Free Zone
2 months ago

Blundering and intrusive is very close to the definition of the word government. Every government in all world history has been blundering and intrusive with varying degrees of deadliness to it’s citizens. For example 300 Americans are dying every single day because of Fentanyl coming across the border we no longer have. This is no accidental blunder, but is part of a greater plan.

2 months ago

I was taught that if you want to talk about the problem you must have some ideas as to what to do about them. The author does not tell us what he thinks the American People need to do about the problem. At this point, there are certainly no Republicans that don’t understand that we have a problem, but I don’t see anyone telling us what to do about the problem.

Bob al
2 months ago
Reply to  Moses

I appreciate your comments. Too many people are ready to let (both) parties off the hook. We all know the problems, but as you correctly stated, no is stepping up to actually deal with the problems.
We can’t kick that can down the road forever. The bill is due now. We have been drinking the water and not priming the pump.
Hold ALL accountable. If we don’t……. The US will fall

Letts Brandon
2 months ago
Reply to  Moses

I thought it to be rather obvious that Ben was recommending a smaller, less intrusive government.”But that distrust does not manifest, unfortunately, in widespread calls by citizens to restrict the size, scope and intrusion of government”. The way to accomplish this is in the hands of the voters.”In a representative republic, the problems of government are, in the end, the problems of the people who vote for them.”It’s up to us to figure out what the people we are voting for stand for. You have to do some research to see who they have connections with, not just listen to news media or campaign speeches. The first thing to check is do they have connections or memberships with CFR, WEF, TC, BILDERBERG, or any of the many other One World Marxist Government/New World Order supporters. It’s not as easy as choosing Democrat or Republican, but I can almost guarantee you that if they are Democrat the are not looking out for our sovereignty.

Patriot Will
2 months ago

“Pot Hole Pete” couldn’t even deal efficiently with his city’s structural road problems, how in a million years can he be expected to be a competent Secretary of Transportation? Biden and Buttigieg are very good at taking vacations and blaming others. However, their abilities to actually improve the physical conditions of anything more involved than a simple structure are seriously limited. In fact, both Biden and Buttigieg are arguably the worst of the worst.

2 months ago

Buttgage is a total incompetent idiot. Why he is in his position is far beyond my comprehension…. other than he is a pretty boy.

And this incompetency is rampant thru out the Federal government.

2 months ago

BULLSEYE!!! Thank You Mr. Shapiro!!! Is there any hope for some sort of proof of literacy to vote?

Philip Hammersley
2 months ago

Canada had a similar glitch at the same time but DID NOT cancel their flights! And they are ruled by a full-blown socialist dictator!

Stephen Russell
2 months ago

Close depts, agencies
CUT overhead
CUT regulations
CUT UN funds

2 months ago


anna hubert
2 months ago

To direct and control citizen’s every day life and business is not government’s role To tell business how to do business is not government’s business To intrude in every aspect of life and try co control every thought is not government’s purpose, but this whatever it is that we have is hell bent to make life as miserable as can be

Kristina Pyle
2 months ago

Thank-you for such good articles. To realize the level to which our government, both parties, are willing to go is heartbreaking. As a christian, Gods word tells us that these will take place. So Thank-you for seeking the truth and passing on all you learn.

2 months ago
Reply to  Kristina Pyle

Yes, and God’s word also tells us that the worst is yet to come.

David Millikan
2 months ago

Excellent article.
The Government’s job is to STAY OUT of MY PERSONAL LIFE.
PROSECUTE TERRORIST antifa and TERRORIST blm Organizations.
In other words…The Government needs to mind its own business and

2 months ago
Reply to  David Millikan

Amen David Millikan. Exactly what I truly believe that the Government works for us and not the other way around. We are the taxpayers and pay their salaries, their perks, and voted these clowns in and now they want to take over all of our lives. NO WAY JOSE!

rr smith
2 months ago
Reply to  LucyV

the rich have all the power and are getting richer and richer and don’t even pay taxes due to loopholes while the little guy gets soaked by the irs, it sucks

Lawrence Greenberg
2 months ago
Reply to  David Millikan


Unfortunately, our government is doing precisely the opposite of all that you have listed.

rr smith
2 months ago
Reply to  David Millikan

the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, it’s always that way in government and private. in government the bidens, trumps, clintons, and bushes are swimming in money and will do anything to enrich themselves. its no better in private industry with bezos, musk, zuckerberg, the walmart waltons and the rest of the billionaires who step on others to enrich themselves. policy is made by the rich for the rich because they need another yacht and the little guy gets screwed.

rr smith
2 months ago
Reply to  rr smith

left out the obamas, just as corrupt as the bidens, trumps, clintons, bushes, bezos, musk, zuckerberg, and waltons. worst of all is the rich and powerful beg for more money from the working class who stupidly give it to them when they can barely afford to feed their families.

2 months ago

As someone who spent a few years in the federal government, I wouldn’t use competency or effectiveness in the same sentence as the federal government. You wouldn’t believe the looks I would get, if I brought up either of those attributes as goals the federal government should embrace on a daily basis. The federal government is NOT concerned with the same values that are crucial for the continued survival and long-term growth of any business in the private sector. Everything in the federal government relies on unanimous consensus by people, who in many cases, either don’t understand the issues or use their position as a political tool to exact something else as a condition for them voting in favor of something. To say this produces less than stellar results would be a gross understatement. Thus you end up with badly obsolete or poorly designed systems that no longer meet the needs of of the areas they address today. Decisions that take days or weeks to make in the private sector take years in the federal government. All the while, technology and needs evolve over time, but you are stuck endlessly discussing the original technology speced for the project, that is becoming more obsolete with each passing day. Case in point, what appears to be a NOTAM system, that was no doubt built and installed probably a decade or two if not longer ago, that has long since outlived its usefulness to meet today’s needs. No doubt some low-level federal employee will be blamed for yesterday’s outage rather than the federal government admit the system is no longer up to the task for which it was originally designed.

The private sector of our economy is built around the principles of efficiency, competency and effectiveness. Meeting a customer need at a price and timeliness that is both affordable for the customer and yet allows the company to make a profit and grow over time. If you can’t meet those minimal standards on a daily basis, you quickly find yourself out of business and bankrupt. The federal government on the other hand isn’t constrained by any of that. The federal government makes virtually nothing. They contract out virtually everything via an incredibly archaic and inefficient procurement system that pretty much ensures what is ultimately delivered is on the verge of being obsolete on Day One. There is no accountability, because of the convoluted way everything is done and the absurd amount of time everything takes to get done.

Viking 8674
2 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

A perfect description of the problem! Thanks Paul E. To bad no one in the Federal Government will read it or understand it!

2 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

I agree with Viking. It is too bad our government won’t read this or if they do they don’t care.

Philip Hammersley
2 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Well, Paul, you mean that just picking some people based on how they perform sex and who they THINK they are isn’t efficient? I don’t think I could explain that to Mayor Pete Buttgig.

rr smith
2 months ago

the rich in government and industry have sex with whoever they want whenever they want and get away with it because of being rich and powerful even if it’s not consensual. every president is rich and the big ceos are rich, they get away with everything while the average joe goes a few miles per hour above the speed limit and gets a huge ticket or makes an honest mistake on taxes and gets audited. the rich and powerful get off with no penalty.

Gunny Joe
2 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Don’t get behind a GS worker in a narrow passageway if you really have to use the restroom! And darn sure don’t be in the same place at quitting time or anywhere near the time clock, your in danger of being trampled

rr smith
2 months ago
Reply to  Gunny Joe

it isn’t the low level worker that’s the problem it’s the rich higher ups who makes millions or even billions and pay no taxes leaving the average joe holding the bag

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