The big government that can’t.

Entrepreneur Peter Thiel speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Entrepreneur Peter Thiel speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Peter Thiel is a venture capitalist and billionaire who lives in San Francisco. Among his accomplishments is the co-founding of the Internet transaction site PayPal.

He wrote a piece in Tuesday’s (09/06/16) Washington Post that makes an excellent point. Our country, acting through its government, used to get things done.

He cites several examples. The Manhattan Project is one of them. The Manhattan Project employed more than 130,000 people in more than a dozen states and went from a clean sheet of paper to a deliverable nuclear weapon in less than four years. Despite the fact that so many worked on the project, security on it was air tight. It was an example of the government tackling a huge challenge and getting the job done.

There are other examples. One of my personal favorites is the Apollo project. In May 1961, President Kennedy challenged NASA to put a man on the moon and return him safely to the Earth before the end of the decade. Eight years and two months after that challenge was issued, Apollo 11 landed on the moon’s Sea of Tranquility.

In 1940, when Britain was under nightly assault by the superior aircraft of the German Luftwaffe, and recognizing that the U.S. would be at war soon enough, the War Department sought a faster, more capable fighter airplane. One hundred two days later, the P-51 Mustang made its maiden flight. The P-51 was a triumph. It ran circles around German Messerschmitts and Japanese Zeros.

There are many other examples in America’s history.

Fast forward to 2016 and compare the P-51 to the Air Force’s new F-35 joint strike fighter. The F-35 has been under development for 15 years. After taking so long and going billions over budget, only 107 copies of the airplane have actually been built. It is, for all intents, unavailable for military use.

Examples of the government’s inability to get things done abound. The imprudently named Affordable Care Act has kept exactly none of the promises made on its behalf as it was being rammed through Congress.

Everywhere you look the U.S. government is spending more and more money and getting poorer results. Yet with every failure, the reason given is “lack of funding.”

Irrespective of political inclination, Americans are becoming fed up. The creeping incompetence of the federal government is simply too obvious and offers too many examples to be ignored.

Whether recognized or not, this growing realization is helping Donald Trump’s candidacy. For as much as Americans spend on government, it ought to work better. Yet no matter how poorly a federal agency performs, public employee unions make it virtually impossible to fire anyone. Accountability is therefore unachievable.

If ever there were a political candidate inclined to address this problem it would most likely be Donald Trump. It would certainly never be Hillary Clinton.

On his reality show, those who failed to perform heard Trump say, “You’re fired.” Millions of Americans would like to hear him say those words to thousands of unaccountable federal bureaucrats.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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7 Responses

  1. Michael Gauthier says:

    One of the best comparisons of our government then vs now was found on social media:
    “During the years of WWII that started with the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the surrender of both Germany and Japan in 1945, the US produced 22 aircraft carriers, 8 battleships, 48 cruisers, 349 destroyers, 429 destroyer escorts, 203 submarines, 34 million tons of merchant ships, 100,000 fighter aircraft, 98,000 bombers, 24,000 transport aircraft, 58,000 training aircraft, 93,000 tanks, 257,000 artillery pieces, 105,000 mortars, 3,000,000 machine guns and 2,500,000 military trucks.

    We put 16.1 million men in uniform in the various armed services, invaded Africa, Sicily and Italy, won the battle of the Pacific and Atlantic, developed the atomic bomb and ultimately conquered Japan and Germany.”
    (the following sentence was edited slightly for language)
    It’s worth noting that during almost the same amount of time, the Obama administration couldn’t build the Obamacare website !

  2. Linda E Montrose says:

    The United States of America was once a force to be reckoned with. No one wanted to tangle with us. Now, since the present administration stepped into the PEOPLE’S HOUSE, we are ridiculed and laughed at. No sense in mincing words here, we have an illegal in OUR house and for eight years no one has seemed to care. Our Congress allowed nancy pelogsi to slip an illegal among us without batting an eye. This person has wiped his rear end with our CONSTITUTION and not a peep out of those who were elected to SERVE in OUR interest. Several ran on that pretense and once elected, failed to do one single thing to stop or slow this illegal president down!!! But, in the mist of it all, comes someone who wants to rectify the situation, to make this country a force to be reckoned with again and what happens? He is laughed at and vilified because he has the audacity to tell people how things REALLY are here in America??? We have the hildabeast running whom has committed several crimes, even boldly lying to the FBI and Congress, yet somehow remains free to actually run for president! Someone who will only continue to drag this country down into the dirt as the illegal has. Someone who has been in the Whitehouse and upon leaving took furniture and paintings that didn’t belong to them and deliberately destroyed government property. Such childish acts and very unbecoming of someone who lived in the highest place of our government should act. This is how gutter rats act, not principled people who were running our government should act. And people want to put this class of people back in OUR HOUSE??? The clintons need to stay as far away from OUR HOUSE as possible. Allow someone with dignity to come in and make this Country GREAT again. Let the world RESPECT AMERICA again instead of being the laughing stock it now is because of who sits in the Whitehououse now! Allow GREATNESS to return and listen to the TRUTH that is being told to you about the mess America is really in! You will not hear it from clinton! Donald Trump is the only one who can bring us back to where we NEED TO BE!

  3. A Real Teacher says:

    When someone with dignity decides to run for the Presidency in the 2016 Race, let me know.

    • Richard Anderson says:

      AMERICA is “thirsting” for true leadership and someone who LOVES our Constitutional Republic–The United States Of America. A person with grit, commonsense know-how, and who thinks big and who DOES big, under budget & ahead of schedule. A champion, an optimist, and a tireless worker. We have him now. His name is Donald J. Trump, he will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

  4. R. Eagleman says:

    I cannot add much to Linda’s very accurate summary of how the “hildabeast” will only deepen the sludge of government incompetence. Any owner of a business will tell you that it is almost impossible to have an efficient operation using employees who have been hired through affirmative action, and literally can only be fired by an act of congress. The Manhattan project is an example of how our government should work, and the Affordable Care Act, V.A. and U.S.P.S. are examples of how government incompetence has evolved over years of these insane hiring practices. It is difficult to imagine how the outcome could be any different! Affirmative action and political correctness do not work any better in the post office than in the oval office, and we all know how that little experiment is working out. We can hope that a person who has been successful in the private sector will have a different approach than a person who is actually a product of this failed system.

  5. A Real Teacher says:

    How many times has this great businessman declared bankruptcy?

    • Paul Gleiser says:


      Some of the real estate developments and some of the businesses that Trump launched went bankrupt. That puts him on a par with virtually every real estate developer and every venture capital firm in the country.

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