Send the Beast to Weight-Watchers

California has: endless beaches, Hollywood and the TV and movie industry, Disney, tourism, at least one military base that pops to mind, luxury retail, full to capacity rehab facilities popular with celebrities, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. The Golden State boasts every conceivable advantage for prosperity.

And it is beyond broke. In the private sector, the kind of incompetent and irresponsible management required to bankrupt ten times over an entity with this many assets would be unimaginable. I can't think of a corporate analogy … GM, maybe. But no other.

Billions of dollars have been poured into Haiti since its epic earthquakes. Former President Clinton was there last week, on the anniversary of the devastation. He said progress had been made, but we still need to develop infrastructure, housing, education, medical care and social services. Other than that, it's paradise.

The TV news cameras revealed untouched ruins. Asked by a reporter to cite some specific, encouraging progress, the best a local government official could offer was description of one very small, new school in Port au Prince.

Billions of dollars. Can anybody seriously argue that if half those billions were paid to private enterprise charged by contract with the rehab of this place, there'd be a lot more to show for money spent? Six guys rehabbing houses for profit in Biloxi likely got more accomplished last year than did the all the charity funneled through corrupt and inept government operations in Haiti. And those six guys were part-timers, with day jobs. One with a bad back.

On August 11, 2009, President Obama said: 'UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? It's the Post Office that's always having problems.' He was attempting to sell government-run health care, but in a Biden-esque moment of inconvenient truth-telling, made the opposite point. And who said this guy wasn't funny?

We so urgently need to (again) declare that the era of big government is over. And mean it this time. Stop the insanity. Admit that government cannot efficiently and effectively manage money and get value for dollars spent.

Instead, restrict the federal government to providing its constitutionally mandated, critical minimums: defense, as example - and insist it do that, which would require sealing our borders and sensibly managing legal immigration. Demand it do what it must do, and relieve it of everything else. Instead, Obama has us racing madly in the opposite direction, determined to have government take on more and more responsibility, usurp more and more control, confiscate more and more money. We already know the inevitable result of his madness: the disappearance of potentially productive wealth down government rat-holes or favoring a very few special interests - like unions. Ultimately, we arrive at bankruptcy.

It is no wonder so many now view their own government as their enemy. We see ourselves in hopeless combat with a beast without conscience, but with insatiable appetite. It grows bigger and hungrier with every congressional bill, presidential decree, bureaucratic expansion of authority and every ludicrous liberal idea - salad bars installed in schools by the federal government leaps to mind. It's

The public sees a bloated beast ready to consume us all. The fear and loathing the beast causes is reflected in increasingly incendiary talk. But that reaction is entirely unworthy of the criticism it has received from political opportunists and hand-wringing pundits in the days following the Tucson shooting. The thing to be criticized is not the public's outcry about the beast. It is the beast itself.

The beast needs to be collared and leashed, caged, put on a diet, shrunken in size and trained to behave as servant not master - before it elicits far worse from those it is eating than vitriolic talk and just an occasional outburst of outright violence.

The Tucson shooter was probably insane and what he did was tragic and criminal. Liberals rushed to cynically blame the prevailing national mood. But the answer is not demonizing the apparent majority of Americans of that mood. Nor issuing them all new mood-rings with which to better manage their moodiness at taxpayer expense - something I imagine Michelle conjuring up. The solution is a re-booting of a government itself gone mad.