I was not going to do this. Rant about the government, that is. But they just will not stop, so what else can I do? 

I was not going to do this. Rant about the government, that is. But they just will not stop, so what else can I do?

Ever since I was a kid the idea of the government advertising really griped me. Working in the magazine business has not changed that opinion (although I do not go around shouting about it … usually). I EXEMPT the all-volunteer military (have opinions on that, too, but another time) that must advertise for recruits. And I exempt the “free” messages (which are not produced for free) that come in the form of “public service announcements” (even though they are mandated by the government for some purveyors of advertising).

So here is the rub: The government collects taxes from us to provide services to citizens. Then it has to advertise so we will know about the programs so we can take advantage of them. Huh?

There is no less efficient way to deliver a service than through the government. Let’s just get that out of the way right now. Anyone who wants to argue the point, fill out a form GAO – F – 1799, submit it in triplicate with copies to the postmaster, dogcatcher, and the office of your Congressional representative. I will be so dead by the time I hear back from them I will win the argument by default.

So this week I get a link to a Website sporting a letter from the U.S. Small Business Administration; a fine organization owned by you and me and a few hundred million of our closest friends. They are so proud of the recently-passed healthcare legislation that Ms. Karen Mills of the SBA penned an open letter to the “Small Business Owner.” That is the same healthcare legislation that over half of us want repealed and a growing number of states are suing the federal government over.

The government takeover of healthcare is so good for us that we need government officials to write us letters to tell us about it. Huh? And from the SBA? Sorry, but this just strikes me as extra-creepy. The government was way too deep into my life before all this. And I am not just talking about taxes (because I do not mind paying my share … but defining “my share” is another topic altogether).

The letter aboutThe Affordable Care Actintroduces us to “a number of tools and benefits” that are going to make our business life much better. The letter goes on to make excuses for the insane language in the bill that requires small businesses to send 1099’s to everyone they do business with over the course of the year. There is at least one bill moving through Congress to change (mainly reverse) this requirement. The SBA and other agencies are trying to figure out a way to help business owners get out of the reporting requirements in some cases.

Ms. Mills touts the accomplishments of the Obama Administration (although she does not use his name) and all the great things he has done for small business. How is all of that working for you? Not seeking to bash the Pres here, but this kind of advertising makes my stomach turn. Making excuses and putting a political message forward and I have to pay for it. Damn!