05 November 2010

Deficits are irrelevant. Spending is the issue.

Steven Landsburg offers sage advice to our new congressfolk.  I liked the first two points especially.
The Big Questions | Steven Landsburg | Hope and Change

1. Like I said, cut agencies. And cut them in bunches, to dilute opposition. As I’ve said before on this blog, the department of commerce steals from workers and farmers to subsidize businesses; the department of agriculture steals from workers and businesses to subsidize farmers, and the department of labor steals from businesses and farmers to subsidize workers. Eliminate them all at once and every American will lose one friend and two enemies.

2. Do not let the deficit commission (or anyone else) snow you or the public into thinking that raising taxes is the moral equivalent of cutting spending. It’s not. It’s the moral equivalent of moving money from your savings account to your checking account. The taxpayers are the polity. Collectively, we own the U.S. Treasury. When you raise taxes, you move money from the private bank accounts we own to the public bank account we own. That’s not fiscal responsibility. It’s flimflam.

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I was talking to someone a ways back and I mentioned shuttering the Dept. of Energy, and there response was a fairly predictable "OMG you don't think we should have any electricity?!" I pointed out that the DOE was only founded in the 1970's — and the electrons were flowing pretty well before that — and that the UK closed down their DOE in the 1990's — and their lights remain on.

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