Examples where gov’t does well or better than private industry with the same money and regulations:
- Social security. Medicare. The VA. All have lower overhead than their private counterparts.
- The US Army. Lower overhead than private security firms.
- Texas Department of Corrections. Lower overhead than private prisons.
- K-12 public schools. Do as well or better nationally than charter schools, while not being able to pick and choose students.
- Fire departments: Private fire departments have a chequered past at best.
the government is about restricting choices contrived by politicians, in many cases for their own purposes using public money, and not for the public good.
That is one way of looking at it. Another is government is collectively pooling our resources to get the most value for our society. You are right that in many cases politicians use public money for their own purposes. But it is at least illegal and if caught we can put them in jail. Privatization of public services (e.g. Charter schools) is always using public money for private good, and it is legal, so when that Charter school goes broke (as they often do) we end up paying for the cleanup as well as our society suffering from the loss of services.