Hail the Golden Turkey!

Those of us who want less government need to get serious about government spending. The Trump administration had many successes, but limiting spending was not one of them. Government spending is never “free;” it will always be paid for. The only questions are when, by whom, and with how much interest.

In Minnesota, as in many other states, we have seen runaway growth in government spending. My organization, Center of the American Experiment, is the principal voice for spending restraint and smaller government in our state. As a way to dramatize the wanton wastefulness of government, we inaugurated the Golden Turkey Award, which I wrote about here. The award takes its inspiration from Senator William Proxmire’s Golden Fleece, which garnered massive publicity some decades ago. Many still remember the $400 hammer. Spending is like murder: as Josef Stalin said, one death is a tragedy, a million deaths are a statistic. (He would know, having caused 20 million or more deaths.) Similarly, most people’s eyes glaze over if you talk about billions of dollars, but everyone knows a hammer doesn’t cost $400.

In that spirit, we conducted a Golden Turkey Award competition over several weeks in November, with thousands of Minnesotans voting for one of four nominees. They were all worthy candidates, I think, because Minnesota is a target-rich environment, with lavish government spending requiring ridiculous levels of taxation that are driving the state into a downward spiral.

A week ago today, I announced the winning Turkey in a press conference that was broadcast live on Facebook. After thousands of Minnesotans voted, we had a clear winner. Here is a video of the press conference:

For liberals, there is no such thing as wasteful government spending. All spending, regardless of whether it makes any sense, creates dependents and clients who have little choice but to vote for ever more government. The great battle that conservatives must fight is to restore the Founders’ vision of a government that is limited, constrained and accountable. That is the opposite of what we see today, when government at all levels is rolling in dough, expands inexorably, and flagrantly wastes taxpayers’ money and the nation’s wealth. The Golden Turkey Award is one small step toward restoring America to fiscal sanity.

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