It's rarely worth listening to what politicians say about the economy and what makes it grow, so when they do say something meaningful, it's worth considering.
Experience teaches that we can learn more from our failures than successes and therefore that people advocating doing the wrong things will enhance our learning process faster than if we ignore what they're recommending.
So in that spirit, let's see what one nationally prominent "public servant" recently had to say about how to best achieve economic growth.
Notable & Quotable is subtitled 'House Democratic whip Steny Hoyer thinks the best ways to stimulate the economy are unemployment insurance and food stamps.'
"During a pen and pad briefing with reporters on Capitol Hill, [House
Democratic whip Steny] Hoyer was asked if any Democrats are
"reconsidering the wisdom" of letting the Bush tax cuts expire at year's
end for the top income earners given the still struggling U.S. economy.
"I haven't talked to any who are of that
mind," said Hoyer. "If you talk to economists, they will tell you there
are two things that are the most stimulative that you can do—one's
unemployment insurance, the other's food stamps, okay?"
"Why is that?" he said. "Because those folks who receive those
resources must spend them. And they'll spend them almost upon receipt.
Most economists with whom I talk believe that those with significant
discretionary income, that that's not the case."
I'd like for Mr. Hoyer to introduce us to the economists with whom he talks.Then we could ask them the following questions, "Where will the additional money come from to further increase payments for food stamps and unemployment benefits? The tooth fairy? Or the Chinese? And who will have to pay it back? This generation of taxpayers or future generations? And what will the economic impact be of such continuous debt increasing measures, both in the short and longer term?"
While I'm definitely in favor of helping those who need help, as I suppose the vast majority of Americans are as well, wouldn't it be appropriate to consider, understand and acknowledge the likelihood that borrowing from the Chinese to give out more government benefits won't add to the country's future economic growth?
Europe is a great example of the free lunch, big government approach to killing employment and long term economic growth. Their unemployment rate currently exceeds 11%, and they are entering into another recession. Many of the southern European countries are already broke as their economic policies have emphasized unaffordable government entitlements and bigger and bigger government in the name of helping achieve "social democracy," whatever that means.
We have to get rid of the thinking of the Hoyers of the federal government before we become "Europeanized" to the point that there can be no turning back to individual and economic freedom---the true American way and the only legitimate path to sustainable economic growth.
To make the point, let's try a comparison of two groups that spend more money than they have available to spend. One is MOM based and the other is OPM. One is admittedly wasteful and the other is purportedly doing "great things" for We the People.
Accordingly, let's make the comparison between (1) a few high income but unfortunate big spending professional athletes, actors and entertainers and (2) unaccountable big government out-of-control-spending politicians.
We all know of sad examples where professional athletes, actors, entertainers and others, after having earned millions during their active careers, spent way beyond what they earned and eventually landed in bankruptcy court. Flat broke.
Many of our politicians remind me of those bankrupt celebrities people, except for one single glaring difference. And that is this.
At least the athletes and others wasted their own earned money (MOM) while going broke. Steny Hoyer and too many other "good hearted" vote seeking politicians are wasting hard earned taxpayer money and what would still have been MOM but for the fact that government spent it doing too many "good" things on behalf of We the People.
One incontrovertible truth is that anyone can outspend his earnings and accumulated wealth. It's not hard to do. It doesn't even require any training or judgment.
But learning to live within our means as a society is another story. So what do we not do, Mr. Hoyer, in order that we can add your recommended spending for additional food stamps and unemployment spending? Take the money from public education, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obama Care, raise taxes, or what?
There's no free lunch. But listening to Steny Hoyer, it's easy to see how we got ourselves into this financial mess today.
We followed him as he followed the teachings of Europe.
And the financial cliff we're all heading toward is getting nearer each day that we don't bother to connect spending with receipts.