The federal government is coercive and incompetent. The public vaguely understands this, although only in theory.
People have a difficult time imagining just how incompetent the federal government is, because it is too big to understand. It spends over $3.5 trillion a year. People can understand crony favoritism when we are talking about a few million dollars. This is comprehensible. But crony favoritism on a scale that the federal government is capable of, and is constantly implementing, is beyond anyone’s power of comprehension. It is just too large, too complex, and too difficult to trace.
In order to get across to people just how rigged the system is, we need representative examples. They have to be clear-cut. They have to be striking. Most of all, they have to gain public attention. They cannot be concealed, or least once they have become public knowledge, there is no way for the government to conceal them.
Those of us who believe staunchly in the inherent corruption of big government, long for poster child examples of this corruption. We long for cases so blatantly against the public interest that we can make them examples of the system that operates in Washington, D.C.
In what is one of the greatest examples of crony capitalism in my adult life, the main company that produced the incomparable failure known as www.healthcare.gov turns out to have gained its share of the $678 million contract without facing competitive bids. That’s right. There were other companies that submitted bids, but those bids were not considered, or so initial reports indicate. Why no bids? We are not told.
This kind of thing goes on all the time, but usually it is never discovered. But the website was rolled out as the prime example of President Obama’s signature program, which bears his name unofficially: ObamaCare. This program was going to be the deliverance long awaited for by 15 million Americans who did not have healthcare coverage.
It went online, and it was dead on arrival: a corpse of government medicine. It died so spectacularly that it became front-page news around the world. It is such a total failure that there is a kind of magnificence about it. Millions of people tried to get in. Millions of people could not get in.
Now Congress is conducting an investigation of how this happened, and it turns out, that it happened because it was a sweetheart deal from the get-go.
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