Incessant Aggrandizement

Incessant Aggrandizement
by Michael Goodell

Just about everything wrong with America today can be summed up in a recent Wall Street Journal article about the campaign to place a woman on the newly designed $10 bill. The author, Nick Timiraos, cites a March, 2015 memo from Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew which revealed that though the decision to honor Susan B. Anthony with the rollout of the new bill in 2020 had already been made, he decided to turn the redesign into a public referendum over which woman should be put on the bill.

Now, the fact that it was envisioned that redesigning a piece of currency was envisioned to take at least five years is proof positive that our federal government is fatally sclerotic, but that is not the most damning aspect of the decision. Instead, it had to do with the rationale for turning the decision into a debate. Lew felt the decision would “inspire a feel good campaign about women’s contributions to U.S. history.”

Whether it is the role of the federal government to launch “feel good campaigns about women’s contributions” is a reasonable question, but what should be beyond dispute is that it is in no way within the purview of the U.S. Treasury to engage in such social pseudo scientific meddling.

Of course, under this administration there is no piece of social meddling beyond its scope, as witnessed by the head of NASA informing us that the president believed one of the highest priorities of the National Aeronautic and Space Administration’s was to encourage “the Muslim World” to feel good about its contributions to science and mathematics.

Let us be clear. It is not the job of the U.S. Treasury to boost the self-esteem of women, or any other subsection of American society. Nor is it the business of government to encourage fathers to take time to be fathers, as a recent federally funded ad campaign entreats.

In an age of steep deficits and steadily mounting debt, with burgeoning entitlement spending and no clear path to reining in the fiscal Leviathan which is the federal budget, it is unconscionable that anyone, let alone the U.S. Treasury Secretary, would spend valuable tax dollars on something so insubstantial, trivial and unnecessary as promoting a “feel good campaign about women’s contributions.”

If every federal department could be forced to return to its original remit, with its budget slashed accordingly, not only would we be one step closer to a sound fiscal policy, but everyday life would begin to trend toward freedom, and away from the increasingly stifling embrace of the nanny state.