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The Two Parties' Question: How Much To Steal?
August 27, 2010 -- "How do you know there is going to be an economic recovery?" Greta Van Susteren asked GOP dummy, Dana Perino. "There always is; these things go in cycles," squeaked the Heidi Klum of the commentariat.
Dana, who was once a spokesperson to a man who was barely able to speak, always smiles with pride when her boss' "modest" government expansion is hearkened to nostalgically on Fox News. You remember the broad sweep of the Bush limited-government program: Medicare Part D, "No Child Left Behind," and the fiscal fiascos that are the wars in Middle East and South-central Asia. Likewise, Dana seems to think that the economy is much like the menstrual cycle. But even that event grinds to a halt when the hormones run out.
Another day, another dullard. This time it was Liz Cheney, who only sounds weightier than Dana because she's meatier and less appealing. The two will often form the Fox-panel staple when studiously dumb chicks, SE Cupp, for example, are unavailable to gesture wildly and grimace, as they portentously parrot mind-numbing banalities.
On this occasion, Liz repeated the Republican refrain about the Democrats' stimulus "not working." As though it could work. The premise of Liz' statement is that the various stimuli might have worked, if only, if only… Oh yes, if only GOPers were in charge. If I understand the Republican line for the coming midterms, it is that, thankfully, there is a smart, economically stimulating way for the State to spend money it had lifted from the private economy (and, in the process, crowded out private, productive economic activity).
Time and again, Republicans will explain to us of the booboisie that the stimuli consisted of misguided spending so typical of Democrats, instead of precision-guided make-work projects, the hallmark of Republikeynesian economic "thought."
With few exceptions, Republican politicians, and their matching Tweedledim and Tweedledimmer cable personalities, seem incapable of countering the fiction that vests central planners with the ability to create viable jobs by appropriating private property, and redistributing it, based on bureaucratic and political considerations. The unsparing critique the likes of dodo Perino, Newt, Dick, Karl, et. al, will invariably voice is that the Dems did not apply the stolen funds the way one ought to have; as the GOPers would have.
Democrats are every bit as good as the gaseous (if gorgeous) Republican babes at dimming debate. For just such as exercise, an execrable bunch convened last Sunday on MSNBC, to "Meet The Press." A confrontational conversation ensued about the Republicans' irresponsible tax policy. Against the Republicans, "Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory argued that "if you're concerned, as Republicans say they are, about cutting spending and the deficit, you have to acknowledge that tax cuts are not paid for. It's still borrowed money," contended Gregory, evidently paraphrasing the Great Inflator, Alan Greenspan.
Minority leader Mitch McConnell countered with weak utilitarian appeals. "If you push this economy further backward, we'll get less revenue for the government, not more." And, "Raising taxes in the middle of a recession on the major job generator in America, small business, is a very, very bad idea."
Meek Mitch made only fleeting mention of the real problem, and even then incompletely: government spending. Our government's $1.4 trillion budget deficit, $13.4 trillion debt, not counting $110 trillion in unfunded liabilities ─ these are a consequence of it spending, and promising its constituents, more than it steals.
Democrats think that tax cuts are bad because they will reduce government revenues, which, in turn, will increase its liabilities. As unflinching about fleecing the tax payer, so as to fatten the federal government, Republicans are fond of claiming that tax rate cuts will indirectly increase government revenues by stimulating the economy.
Conveniently lost on representatives of both parties is the distinction between what is mine and what is thine: In other words, private property. Taxes are private property plundered. The government has several ways to pay for its obligations, one of which is to seize private property in the form of taxes. The particular portion of the "stim" and bailouts that was not borrowed or counterfeited by the Fed once belonged to individual Americans. Thus, a tax cut for high-income earners, who also pay most of the taxes, is tantamount to a return of stolen goods.
With a tax cut, the plundering class simply agrees to pilfer less. The notion that you must "pay for tax cuts," as Gregory put it, is akin to a burglar promising to return the television he stole just as soon as he is in a better financial position.
It's not the return of some stolen property in the form of a tax cut that poses a problem for the Republicans, come the November midterm elections. The difficulty is that the pigs to which these politicians pander outnumber ─ and are electorally stronger than ─ the productive whom they plunder. The first are feeding off the second and will not let-up. To remove or not to remove the teat of the Welfare State from its primary beneficiaries: that will be the question on the Tuesday following the first Monday, in November.
ILANA MERCER is a widely published classical liberal writer and the author of Broad Sides: One Woman’s Clash With a Corrupt Society. Ilana is a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies. She is also a columnist for WorldNetDaily.com. Her forthcoming book is Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa. “The titular tease,” writes ilana in the Introduction, “is meant as a metaphor, and is inspired by Ayn Rand’s wise counsel against prostrating civilization to savagery.” Ilana’s website is www.ilanamercer.com; she blogs reluctantly but regularly at www.barelyablog.com.