Stop. Please, just stop.

So now there's a congressional hearing on the future of newspapers.

Can we please just stop?

Can people just get it out of their heads that it's the government's job to to fix everything?

Whenever someone complains about the weather, I jokingly say "you should write your congressman!" If I've had one-too-many Salty Dogs and trip over a throw rug, I remark about how my alderman will be hearing about it.

But those are just jokes, hopefully evident in the fact that no congressman can do a thing about a rainy day or that a combination of alcohol and inconveniently placed floor decor fall outside my local council member's authority. And I would hope that anyone hearing me utter either of those phrases would see them for the jokes they are. Only, I fear far too many people take the concepts just a bit too seriously.

The government simply has no business bailing out newspapers. Nor should it be a knight in shining armor for banks or auto manufacturers, either. Government shouldn't be funding the arts. It shouldn't be telling ANYONE who is or isn't married. And it sure as hell needs to keep its nose out of health care.

My objection to government backed health care reform is pretty simple: it's not the government's job. It's philosophical, you see. I don't care how many pretty charts you show me demonstrating it will work or it won't. I don't care what the cost savings will be. All the cases for or against it are nothing more than intellectual masturbation. It's simply not within the mandate of the federal government to reform health care, health insurance, health availability or whatever else you want to call it.

It just needs to stop.

I'm reminded of a woman that used to work for me. She had a real hard time meeting the basic requirements outlined for her job. Rather than working on those, she started creating new responsibilities that she magically excelled at. It looked good, but the tasks for which she was originally hired were still suffering. When I asked her to focus on her primary job, she claimed to be overwhelemed, and eventually quit because she couldn't handle the stress.

Our federal government can barely manage those basic responsibilities granted to it by the Constitution. The last thing it needs is to be adding on anything else. Unlike my former employee, I doubt the goverment will even be able to excel at those. All I can hope for is that the stress will get to be too much and it'll just quit, too.

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