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Want to End Large Federal Deficits?  Stop the "Cradle To Grave" Spending!

May 22, 2003


Senators Olivia Snow (R-Maine) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio) are lobbying to prevent President Bush's full tax cut from coming to fruition because they believe that the $700 billion PLUS in tax cuts over a number of years will mushroom the federal deficit well beyond its current level of $6.4 trillion.  They are of the old school economics which see a direct relationship between excessive government borrowing and rising interest rates.  Described by many as the "crowding out effect" in the money supply available to all who borrow—private and public—the theory argues that the more that government borrows, the less that you and I—the private sector, consumers and businesses—have to borrow, therefore the price of loans, the real interest rate, will rise.  Of course, like all economic theory, that concept relies on a major assumption.  It wrongly assumes that the private sector wants to borrow, and it also assumes that by going into debt, the government takes available funds away from the private sector.  Prove this theory to be true at the present time!  The proof simply does not exist, for the assumptions are based on concepts that do not actually reflect either consumer or business behavior concerning borrowing.

Do not get me wrong!  I am against huge federal deficits, but not because I believe they affect real interest rates or that changes in the interest rates affect aggregate demand.  I am against federal deficits for two reasons.

  1. First, it is my money and your money that the government is wasting on excessive spending programs that do not benefit the people that it is designed for in the first place.  Why is it that liberals believe that the money spent by the government belongs to the government?  That money comes out our pockets, it belong to us, the taxpayers, and if we do not believe it is being spent appropriately, we have the right to ask for it back.  President Bush's tax cut is simply proposing to give the money back to the people who really own it.

  2. The second reason I am against federal deficits is that they are caused not by large tax cuts, but over the last 70 years, they have been caused by a philosophy espoused by the Left that it is government's responsibility to care for us from "cradle to grave".  Beginning with FDR's New Deal, the social welfare state was born in the United States.  The explosion in social spending to help the poor, provide for the elderly, and clean up the environment exploded beyond control in the 1960's with the advent of LBJ's "Great Society".  The current $6.4 trillion federal debt has been caused by too much spending on programs that have produced marginal benefits.  Much of the spending for these well-intended lofty goals ended up creating a sprawling bureaucracy that has a potential half-life longer than any nuclear waste material.  The bureaucracy has taken on a life of its own, sucking the taxpayer blood out of all of us and lying to its potential clientele - telling them that the government will solve all their problems.  It has not alleviated the problems of the poor.  It has not provided for economic security for those in retirement years.  It has not solved the health care problem in this nation (Gephardt's plan for health care for all will not work and will really mushroom the deficit).

Only a healthy, vibrant, growing economy has the potential to solve some of these problems.  The "production possibilities curve" needs to be able to expand in order to fulfill growing needs and wants.  We cannot do more with less.  We need the economic pie to grow.  Lowering taxes, even for the rich, will give greater incentive for growth in the economy.  If the private sector is given the chance to blossom, by having greater control over its own destiny, great things can happen.  The deficit can be limited by controlling excessive government spending on social programs that have not worked and that have only perpetuated a massive federal bureaucracy, that like a cancer, feeds on the healthy taxpayer.

The liberal "cradle to grave" philosophy has almost put the economy into the crypt.

 

Copyright © Copyright © 2020 by Kim B. Deffenbaugh & America's Voices, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Kim B. Deffenbaugh is an educator, poet and high school guidance counselor in Indiana who recently began writing political commentary and poetry.  His work is published at www.poetsforthewar.org and on America's Voices.  You can e-mail him at kdeffenba@americasvoices.org.

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