Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Today's definitions: "Democrat fiscal responsibility" and "gridlock"

Democrats are quickly demonstrating their contrast with spend-happy Republicans by cutting some spending -- by looking to spend $463.5 billion of our hard-earned dollars. The bill needs to clear the Senate also, but consider the House circus antics a taste of things to come. Behold the Democrats' concept of "fiscal responsibility."

I have yet to hear a credible explanation (excuse?) for why Democrats' claims of "spending within our means" is feasible, let alone morally acceptable. Then again, there's no reason for tax-and-spend liberals to learn Bastiat's simple lesson: economic output ("income") is finite, so therefore spending an extra x% of GDP means having to take x% from people's paychecks. It doesn't matter that the Democrats claim they'll just tax "the rich," because as I've explained from the time I started blogging, taxing the rich only deprives the poor of that money. At best it's a pure transfer of spending, but in reality, the spending of their taxes is less efficient: bureaucratic overhead eats up a not unsubstantial percentage, and as Friedrich Hayek explained, bureaucrats just don't have the requisite knowledge to make our decisions for us. Oh yes, and on top of that, heavier taxes on "the rich" discourages them from producing as much. Isn't that brilliant, then, to have a super-graduated tax system? You get less revenue overall, a lot of the money goes to waste, and the lower tax brackets (who should not have an equal vote when they can have power over other people's taxes) will continue electing the politicians whose game is to win 51% of the vote by promising to tax the other 49%.

But Democrats aren't the only crooks. A good part of this country's sad state of affairs is that "tough budget choices" to both Democrats or Republicans doesn't mean deciding between two things when they can only afford one. Republicans want both and will borrow to get them. Democrats want both and will hike taxes to get them.

Now, here's a great illustration of what happens when the two parties compromise:
For agencies and accounts targeted by Bush for outright cuts, a budget freeze is in fact a victory. Amtrak's federal subsidy would remain steady at $1.3 billion, about $100 million less than sought by the railroad's many advocates in the Senate. That's a lot better that the $900 million proposed by Bush or the $1.1 billion passed earlier by the House.
So Bush's proposal doesn't go through, and the Democrats in the House can't get their way. And what happens? Gridlock, a budget freeze, and Amtrak winds up with more of our hard-earned tax dollars.

God damn, people. I'll say it again: storm's coming.

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