Friday, July 29, 2011

The problem with deficits...

Margaret Thatcher famously stated that "the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." Ever since, conservatives have parroted her observation with smug approval. Conservatives also sneer at socialist ideology that assumes people can legitimately vote themselves the right to someone else's money. Despite their indignation, most of these so-called conservatives should be recognized for the hypocrites they are.

Redistributivist government programs, by design, forcibly seize property from some people in order to give it to others. Conservatives recognize that this is inherently unfair and counterproductive. But most people fail to recognize that every last dollar of deficit spending does the exact same thing.

Deficit spending is not an alternative to higher taxation. Deficit spending is higher taxation. It's also inherently socialist.

Our national debt represents things Americans previously wanted but were unwilling to pay for. Unfortunately, deficits are more politically palatable than higher taxes. As a result, Americans have chosen to use deficit spending to force future generations to pay for their current desires - without their consent. Americans spent staggering amounts of "other people's money" on unnecessary and counteproductive warfare and welfare - foreign, domestic ... even corporate. Now we have hundreds of trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities and debt to show for it. This debt represents the biggest examples of both taxation without representation and involuntary wealth redistribution in the history of the world.

Americans have always known that somehow, someday, someone will have to pay off our debt. The "somehow" will be higher taxes, inflation, and a lower standard of living. "Someday" is coming soon. But more Americans are starting to realize that "someone" is no longer the vague abstraction it was to past generations.

It is us.

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