on Investment

“Rule # 1: Never lose money. Rule #2: Never forget rule #1”. Warren Buffet (b.1930), American businessmen, philanthropist, and considered one of the most successful investors in the world

What would you do if the manager of your investment portfolio kept losing you money? Would you keep that manager, or would you move your money elsewhere? Generally speaking, when someone uses their own money to make an investment, they do so in order to grow their personal finances.  They take a personal risk, gambling on the future success of another in order to improve their own.  However, this seems to be the exact opposite of how the government defines it.

No better example of this is the push of the Obama administration for a green jobs “investment”. In the 2009 $800 billion economic stimulus, many green energy industries received funding or government backed (i.e. taxpayer funded) loan guarantees. We were told that these government “investments” in green energy were the way to improve our economy, reduce our dependency on foreign oil, and would create thousands of jobs. Unfortunately, none of that proved to be true. Three of the 13 green energy companies that received stimulus funds have recently filed for bankruptcy, thereby leaving the taxpayers on the hook for almost a billion dollars.

Unfortunately, green energy is not the only place where the government “invests” taxpayer money and receives little in return. There already have been several other companies that received loan guarantees and stimulus funds that have filed for bankruptcy, not to mention the loan guarantees provided to banks for mortgages covered by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. In the real world when ordinary Americans take an investment risk, they do it willingly, with their own money, hoping for some sort of financial return. However, when the government takes an investment risk, it is never for a rate of return, but to further some sort of social agenda. And because the money they risk is not their own, even when their investment fails, they still feel no obligation to change course. Government is just not able to feel the consequences of poor decision making.

The thing that politicians seem to forget is this: it is not the job of the government to invest money, but to protect liberty. They are not fund managers of taxpayer money; they really need to leave that to those that actually do that for living, especially when they have already proved themselves to be pretty bad at it. Nor is it the government’s job to make sure a private business succeeds, that everyone owns a home, or that everyone is employed. It is their job, however, to get out of the way of preventing those things from happening without putting the public purse further at risk.

The only way to reduce the waste, fraud and abuse in government is to reduce government itself. Shrinking government to within its Constitutional boundaries will save taxpayers money, reduce crony capitalism, and limit the amount of corruption and temptation to use the public purse to further “investment” in a social agenda. I am tired of our government wasting our hard earned money to protect themselves, their friends and their pet projects, caring not a whit for the American taxpayers. Aren’t you?

It’s poor judgment to guarantee another person’s debt or put up security for a friend.” Proverbs 17:18, The Bible, NLT

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