Stimulate Me!

Politicians say “stimulate spending.” This sounds like a good idea if you’re not a critical thinker. If you THINK for all of three seconds, you’ll soon recognize that it’s government doing the spending, with money government took from private individuals. No new wealth is created; it’s merely transferred. Imagine a schoolyard bully picking the pockets of most students on the playground, and then spending that money on himself. Would you call this economic activity, or simply theft? Spending is not a virtue in itself. It depends on who’s doing the spending and how that money was obtained. I think many people realize this, on some level. The problem is that they accept the magical thinking implied by the phrase “economic stimulus.” When told the bill is full of government pork for special interest groups, overwhelming majorities oppose it. But when asked if there must be an economic “stimulus”…well, who can be against that?

The whole premise of “economic stimulus” is wrong. This is what enabled the government to pull off the fraud that it did, by transferring nearly $1 trillion of wealth from private hands to government bureaus. Republicans have nothing to say in reply. The more articulate ones say, “tax cuts.” Across the board tax cuts actually ARE a good idea. But the Republicans have no credibility. Since the 1980s, and especially during the George W. Bush years, they cut taxes while increasing spending. This is both irresponsible and hypocritical. You don’t cut taxes based on an ideology of limited government and then expand the government. Only the Republicans could make the liberal Democrats look responsible and rational by comparison. But this state of affairs can only last so long. The horrendous legislation being passed–part pork, part massive transfer of wealth, and part excuses to take over entire industries such as health care–will eventually be understood and debated, long after it disappoints the masses.