Could History Be Repeating Itself, Again?
By Jim "Gymbeaux" Brown, January 22, 2017
If you look through history, you find rare instances where people have surfaced to overcome all odds to accomplish things that many may have thought to be impossible tasks. The most recent in my memory was Ronald Reagan who brought our severely divided country ripped apart by a failing economy left to him by Jimmy Carter. Before Reagan it was John F. Kennedy who was a complete change in personalities from his predecessor Dwight D. Eisenhower. More importantly, Kennedy put forth a vision for America that people got behind. The historical figure I am reminded of today is General George Patton.
Why do I say General Patton? He was brash, he could be and usually was rude and he more than anyone could see what was happening in the days following the fall of Germany and wanted to take action against the Soviet Union. It is unsure what would have happened had he not been killed after the war ended either by accident or by intent; we will never know.
What we do know is that the Generals around him and superior to him including General Eisenhower did not like him and Patton did not give them any reason to like him nor do I think he really cared; he was that confident. What Patton gave to General Eisenhower and to the free world was a General who got things done and who took on the enemy and WON! Four simple words define General Patton – HE GOT THINGS DONE!
Before anyone jumps all over me, I am not saying President Trump is another General Patton. What I am suggesting is that he MAY be another Patton-like figure who for whatever reason, was put in our pathway for a reason. Just as General Eisenhower knew that Patton would not only win his battles, he also knew that the entire German Army feared Patton more so than any of the Allied Generals/Admirals.
We have no Eisenhower who handpicked Patton. Instead we have voters who voted for Donald Trump. We have no German Army or an Adolph Hitler who feared Patton but we have an economy in ruin, we have an education system far worse than most developed countries, we have an Armed Force in deplorable condition and failing morale, and there is ISIS, creating chaos and murder throughout the world. True, solutions are required to remedy those situations. The most daunting task that I believe President Trump must take on and before any other are the waste, fraud and abuse that our elected officials, political appointees and government employees have perpetrated upon America and who will continue to do so until stopped by someone. If that someone is not President Trump then just who will it be?
Why do I say this? I have been employed by the Federal Government. Sure, it may have changed since I left the service in 1985 but I do not believe for a second that any changes that may have occurred did so for the better. Let me explain. Every government agency, office and employee had to protect their/his/her turf. What does that mean? You were given annual funds based upon a budget request that each office generated requesting funds for the upcoming Fiscal Year (October 1 of each year). The budget included not only operating funds but also contingency funding and in a lot of cases, additional funding for additional government employees. This happens EVERY YEAR! In my twenty years in government service, I NEVER once saw any command that I was assigned to be reduced in size OR reduced in the amount of money granted for the new Fiscal Year. On the contrary, the system was rigged. I was given a budget to work with and whether it was verbally or written, there was no avoiding the fact that my superiors expected me to spend the money I was authorized to spend and oftentimes expected me to spend MORE than I was authorized to spend. Why? Because if I were to give any authorized money back, it indicated that my office/command didn’t need that much money for the new Fiscal Year and our new funds would be reduced. Therefore, instead of being REWARDED for being frugal with the “people’s money” (my and your tax dollars), I would be PENALIZED most likely on my Fitness Reports for not managing my office to the best of my ability. That would mean that future promotions and assignments could be adversely affected by NOT SPENDING ALL OF THE MONEY I WAS AUTHORIZED TO SPEND. If by chance I would have spent MORE than authorized, that too worked in my favor because it would be used to increase the budget for the new Fiscal Year.
As for employees, you learned to defend the employees you had assigned and worked the system to add additional employees. When you hear any politician say they are going to “create jobs” the ONLY jobs a politician can create are GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES. That means more tax dollars to pay not only these employees but their benefits and retirements long into the future. Politicians can and should create a country-wide atmosphere that encourages the private sector to create additional jobs and they do that by reducing the regulations that currently are strangling private sector growth.
Can you see the cycle that if not interrupted will eventually lead to a bankrupt government? Can you understand why I can get so pissed off at our government because they are the ones that keep this culture and atmosphere continuing year to year to year? I can only assume that it exists at the state and local levels as well EXCEPT FOR ONE THING. States and cities CANNOT PRINT MONEY: the Federal Government CAN AND DOES and therein lies our biggest problem. The Federal Government spends (expenses) more than it takes in (revenues/tax income). PERIOD!
This is why I am so optimistic about a Trump Presidency, who with a Republican controlled House and Senate may be able to make a very significant difference in America. Why? Because in my mind I consider President Trump as a Third Party Candidate, always have. His inaugural address said as much. He tore equally into the Democrats as he did the Republicans and advised everyone who actually listened to him that the typical Washington Business will no longer be accepted as “business as usual.” He spoke TO the people ABOUT the very people sitting directly behind him. Mr. Trump has been a man of business his entire life. He has successfully run many businesses all at the same time. His cabinet nominees indicate to me that he wants his Administration to be run like a business, on time and under budget. I know of no other president who brought that type of attitude to the presidential office. What President Trump did not say in his speech on the 20th of January was any reference to a smaller government but by simple inference, if the government becomes more efficient, it becomes smaller because the waste fraud and abuse will be exposed to everyone and especially to those employed deep within the bowels of the government.
Disclaimer. Donald Trump was NOT my first choice for President. In fact of the 17 men and one woman running on the Republican side, he would have been number 15 or 16. I just didn’t’ like him. Clinton and Sanders on the Democratic ticket would have taken America even further towards Socialism and that was unacceptable to me. Sound familiar? Remember a great many people did not like General Patton as well. He was selected because HE GOT THE JOB DONE! Whether President Trump was put in the Oval Office by the people’s vote or by accident, doesn’t matter he’s there and I am praying that he gets the job done. He is in the Oval Office and now he is faced with reorganizing the Federal Government into a smooth and efficient running machine. Only time will tell if history repeats itself likening Trump to Patton, only time will tell. I pray that this time, time will be on our side and by “our” I mean all 350 Million of us, Democrat, Republican, Independent, men, women and children; ALL OF US! Failure cannot be an option!
Could history be repeating itself? I certainly hope so! Only time will tell!