In Jim Cook's Archive


It’s easy to talk about trimming social programs and reducing the deficit but it’s not going to happen.  Once these programs are in place too many people come to depend on them.  Taking away food stamps, public housing or disability payments would inspire the media to write an orgy of sob stories.  Heartless politicians on the right would feel too much heat.  Look at the furor in Wisconsin over a few simple reforms for overpaid government employees.  An angry TV commercial from AARP almost promises to lynch anyone who contemplates Medicare reform.

The subsidies aren’t going to end until the money has lost most of its value and national bankruptcy makes borrowing and printing impossible.  Even onerous levels of taxation won’t help.  First will come runaway inflation and then an intractable depression and perhaps a new dark ages if the progressives stay in power.

The hardest programs to cut are those that are the costliest.  The art of keeping people alive has broken new ground and it is terribly expensive.  The liberal party wants the guy who lives under a bridge to get the same heart transplant or autoimmune drug treatment as a working man who pays for his health insurance.  The new drug and medical technologies have expanded mightily because of subsidies and their immediate embrace by government health care programs.  It’s a catch-22 and it’s one of the main reasons we’re going broke.

You can’t begin to imagine how much money is frittered away on useless government initiatives. In Minneapolis, last month an organization called Northside Achievement Zone won a $28 million dollar federal grant to improve an impoverished neighborhood.  A group of liberals were pictured in the newspaper applauding and our two left wing Senators were on hand.  Certainly the supporters mean well but the fact that throwing money at the problem doesn’t work never seems to register.

The CEO was in tears as she pointed out the many needs of the neighborhood.  This is an area of high crime, drugs, alcoholism, broken families, prostitution and delinquency. Most of these people are subsidized and on welfare.  Trillions have been spent trying to cure neighborhoods like this and if anything, they have grown worse.  It’s highly likely that federal subsidies are more the cause of these behavioral problems than the cure.  If you don’t have to work, boredom begets pathologies.

As for the $28 million I put it in perspective this way.  Since 1973 when I started my company we have had up to 300 employees (in 1980).  All of us have worked hard to improve our circumstances.  We have all paid taxes in a timely fashion.  In all those 38 years of hard work all of us have probably paid the government close to $28 million.  It takes a lot of effort to get that amount of taxes.  Nevertheless, the government dispenses it with little realization of the work and struggle involved.

It wouldn’t be so bad if they were just spending our tax money.  They can’t get along on that.  They have to borrow the $28 million and if they’ve borrowed too much they will have to print the $28 million.  Multiply that a thousand times over and you will see why we are dead in the water.  Nothing is going to repeal our social spending but the inability to get the money.  Some day the government checks will not go out. Imagine the dimensions of that collapse.  Sadly, it’s too late for anything else.

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