Can’t Spend Our Way Out, Not Like This

As luck would have it (what?), with the vote coming up whether or not to extend the debt ceiling again, a friend of mine asked me the following.

How about nursing the economy along with government programs for a while longer to get the economy up and running stronger, then phasing out some government activities?

The first thing that caused me to catch my breath was the thought that a government spending program would only last for a while. We would be in a lot better fiscal shape had we not been subject to politicians that want to take care of us in any way they can, tacking on one bureaucracy over another for vote keeping (and human wasting) legislation that we can no longer afford. Then there was the thought of  phasing out some government activities. Sorry but I don’t recall that ever happening. And our debt is so bad it is going to take more than some activities. I’m talking cabinet positions and the bureaucracy and price tag, both tangible and intangible, that goes with them. If the President were to ask me, I’d say the party is over.

But to my friend, I said the kind of nursing the government is doing to the economy is like throwing an anchor to a swimmer. The kind of nursing that we need is something that makes it easier for the private sector to do business. Stop interfering with the markets as though they can be controlled without killing them. To see how well markets respond to political machinations, check out the empty shelves in the super markets in Venezuela. The ‘stimulus’ programs, aside from adding trillions of dollars to our debt, did not really stimulate private sector businesses or jobs. IMHO, they were not meant to do that. Because what they did was to enlarge the government by increasing government jobs, and create a security blanket for labor unions.

The way out of this mess starts with going back to pre-stimulus levels of spending. Pick any year before 2009 and make that the baseline. Obama wants us to accept the current baseline to include all his stimulus spending. No way Jose.

Remember how great things were under the Clinton administration? We all managed to survive those years. And Bill had some fun in the oval office too. This debt is an anchor around not only us, but our grandchildren. It requires drastic measures. Let’s go back to 1995 levels. Let’s replace Obamacare with a private sector solution, like H.R. 3400 in the last (111th) congress. Let’s repeal Bush’s unsustainable prescription drug program, or replace it with something we can afford. Means testing for all such programs.

Got to do tax reform too. We don’t have this debt because we didn’t tax enough. We have this debt because we’re spending more than we’re taking in. Trillions more. The only tax proposal out there that acts to stimulate economic activity and fund the government is the FairTax. Do that. It is the kind of bold change that we need at this time. Well, other than voting the big spenders and statists out of office.

In short, any part of the above will remove the FUD factor, and people will be able to take risks again, create jobs, prosper, and we will start growing ourself out of debt.

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