I thought you might find it thought provoking to read the conclusions drawn in this excerpt from an article by Alan Reynolds, a senior fellow with the Cato Institute. The article appeared in Forbes.com on November 5, 2008. He is the author of “Income and Wealth”.
Whether you agree with Mr. Reynolds or not, his comments coincide with each of our experiences regarding human nature, and the reluctance, dare I say combativeness, of our citizenry to ever give up any benefit they begin to receive from the government.
Mr. Reynolds says, “…the biggest risk to both individual and corporate taxpayers is not that the new president will make good on his promises to raise a few tax rates and close a few tax loopholes. The biggest risk is that he will make good on his grander promises to enact all those tax-based entitlement programs disguised as “tax credits.”
“If millions more voters become accustomed to paying nothing for government (not even for their own Social Security benefits), and instead to receiving a bundle of Treasury checks, it will become almost as difficult for any future president to end those programs as it will be for taxpayers to pay for them.”
Recent U.S. history, and current affairs in Europe, have unambiguously shown that any government “help” program is almost immediately seen as an entitlement by the recipient. It doesn’t matter whether that hand-outs are farm subsidies, corporate welfare, individual welfare, food stamps, or bailouts. The list is quite extensive.
Some people have the attitude, “Gosh, I guess I’ll better stick my hand out for a handout too.” If they do pause to wonder who’s going to pay for the handout, and they may not care, they’re attitude may be, “I don’t care, as long as I’m not paying.”
I hope whoever is paying for these hand-outs has deep pockets. I assure you Congress will unleash the IRS to forcefully come after that somebody if they decide they don’t want to pay the taxes required for these gifts and rebates. The bad news is that “somebody” may be you and me.
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