ABC/John Stossel Program
||January 25, 2001
Dear friend of liberty,
Congressman Ron Paul, our honorary chairman, will appear in
Stossel Goes to Washington." The program will air
January 27 at 10:00 p.m. ET, 9:00 p.m. CT. An ABC News
release describing the program is below.
The Liberty Committee
ABC News Press Release
Reporter John Stossel looks at big government and talks to
Bruce Babbitt to government-wary Rep. Ron Paul.
JOHN STOSSEL TAKES A SKEPTICAL LOOK AT GOVERNMENT
IN HIS NEW ABC NEWS SPECIAL
"John Stossel Goes to Washington" airs Saturday,
Jan. 27, 10pm Eastern,
What happens when a skeptic visits the center of government?
out how bad the waste, incompetence, and abuse of power can
For years, ABC News reporter John Stossel was a consumer
exposing businesses that ripped off consumers. In his
special, he does a consumer report on government, exposing
programs that squander money and rules that make no sense.
government officials aren't eager to talk about the
problems, as Stossel
discovered when then-Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt
out of an interview.
For 150 years, America's government guaranteed liberty - and
else. But over the past 60 years, under Republicans
government has grown so sharply - that it costs the average
$10,000 per year in taxes to pay for it.
Philosophy professor Tibor
Machan tells Stossel that's not what the framers of the
wanted: "The Founders tended to believe that government
restricted. It should be limited to the function of
rights." Instead, government has taken on countless
duties, from running
subways to inspecting pickles.
Stossel looks at a typical St. Louis family and their tax
burden - about
one out of every three dollars they earn - and talks to tax
Shlaes, who notes that "Americans pay more in taxes
than we do in food,
clothing and shelter combined." Government
can't even keep track of
much of the money, as Stossel learns when he drops in on
hearings and the General Accounting Office.
Much of what government does do, it does poorly, finds
Interior Department spent billions to help Native Americans,
are the poorest people in America. Billions more have
been spent on
centrally-planned public housing, but instead of safe homes,
families often end up with dilapidated buildings where
work and security is poor. Charities complain that
government rules make
it tougher to help people. Today "if Jesus
Christ.wanted to start
Christianity, he wouldn't be able to do it," says Mimi
Silbert, who runs
a mutual aid network in San Francisco, "because there
are too many
Despite government's failures, Stossel points out that it
seeks more power, whether on a local scale-such as seizing
the auspices of urban renewal - or on an international
intervening militarily in over a hundred countries.
What's the alternative? Stossel finds private
organizations taking over
formerly government-run functions and doing the job better.
Competition - sorely lacking in government monopolies -
private companies an incentive to guarantee such necessities
water, and flights that actually arrive on time. In
Jersey City, NJ,
for instance, Mayor Bret Schundler got so disgusted with
lousy-tasting water, he put the water contract out for bid.
blow it, we're going to give the contract to somebody
tells ABC News.
"John Stossel Goes To Washington" concludes with
Prof. Machan's comment:
"Government was intended to have a few, clearly-defined
as running the courts and the military, and it would do it
if it didn't do all this other stuff that it has gotten its
Deborah Colloton and Mark Golden are the producers of
"John Stossel Goes
to Washington." Martin Phillips is the senior