Monday, February 9, 2009

Democrats Try to Seduce Citizens with Free Money Ostensibly To Cure Recession

Watching the news today has left me with a creeping sense of foreboding and dismay. It's not so much today's spectacle of Obama's rambling comments before an obsequious press on his massive spending plan he calls a "stimulus"; his tactics are to be expected -- painting the choice between either a gazillion jobs created or saved by the Democrat plan versus catastrophe with the Republican plan, which he implied is to do nothing.

Well, there's a serious argument to be made that doing nothing right now is the best thing we can do, allowing all of the previous interventions sufficient time to work. A sick patient given a medicine rarely gets well overnight -- medicine takes time to work. Changing treatment plans every day and starting and stopping therapeutics can make the patient much sicker and prolong recovery, and could even kill the patient. That's no way to practice medicine, and should be no way to practice macroeconomics. But politically, something must be done, action must be taken. So if we must do something more, make it tax cuts that can actually induce people to be more productive and help American companies to be more competitive. Government spending to cure a recession to me is an unproven remedy, always a questionable intervention and ever more so now given its indiscriminate, unfocused nature and the massive TARP spending we're only part-way through. But Obama offers the public the false choice -- his plan or catastrophe.

No, what's troubling is how many people seem so snookered. They just want money. Today we see the mayor of an Indiana town, on TV, effusive about all his town could do with all that federal money. He seems so foolish. If the Democrat massive spending plan doesn't create new jobs, or if it creates new jobs paying $50,000 at the cost of $250,000 a year each in money borrowed at 4% from the Chinese and Arabs, will his townspeople be better off in the long run? Will they be better off even if the US goes broke? Where does he think the money will come from? Well, it's coming from him and the rest of us, one way or another, sooner or later. At least that's what I think. But maybe I'm the fool. Maybe he figures his town will take in more in handouts than it will pay in dollars sucked out locally, now and in the future, to pay for all this. Maybe he figures his town somehow will be a net gainer. But if he's right, other Americans are net losers, so he and his neighbors turn into slackers living off someone else. The bottom line is that this mayor is anxious to go on the dole. All over America, mayors and governors are crying for federal handouts that they hope will be free money from someone else.

Here in the early stage of withdrawal from a destructive binge of spending borrowed money, many of us can't stand the symptoms and want the drugs back, and the Democrats are only too happy to oblige -- after all, creating ever more dependency on big government is in their game plan. This "stimulus" spending bill is a Trojan Horse for the Democrat agenda. But spending money we borrow from foreigners will not work as a path to prosperity, and indeed that's why we're in the current mess. No, for this mayor tax cuts and patience are too conceptually abstract -- he'll just take the money now, and the hell with tomorrow, thank you very much. How many Americans are just like this man, anxious for seemingly free government money, and lots of it?

The ever creeping reach of the welfare state mentality has enfeebled much of our citizenry. After four years of complete Democrat control of the federal government, when we might expect over half of all tax form filers to pay no taxes (where even some will actually be sent money), we may pass a tipping point, on our way to the real goal of the ultra-liberal elite of the Democrat party -- a European-type social welfare state, ostensibly but only minimally democratic, ruled by unelected technocrat elites.

John M Greco