Bunnies And Small Children – Tea Party Nation

Bunnies And Small Children – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Tim Nerenz

The math is deceptively simple: minus one plus one equals zero. Government cannot add a single dollar to the economy that it has not first taken out of it.

The economics are even simpler: people spend their own money more carefully than they spend other people’s money.

The spectacular failure of “Green Economy” poster kid Solyndra will cost the taxpayers over $500 million. More important than why we gave them those loan guarantees is why they were needed in the first place. They were only necessary because no one would use their own money to back the venture.

States and local governments do it too. In Wisconsin, tens of millions of taxpayer dollars were wasted on incentives to lure Talgo, a Spanish train car company, to locate a factory here that never built a train. In the city of Oconomowoc, the government is planning to spend $10 million, roughly its annual budget, to build a community center that will offer wedding receptions in competition with private firms.

Now, if there was a critical shortage of reception venues in Oconomowoc, don’t you think entrepreneurs like Rick and Rudy Eckert at Olympia Resort would expand their space to meet the demand? By the way, if you do not know of the Eckerts, you should; liberty has no greater friends in the Badger state. And if you live in Oconomowoc, you should find out what on earth is going downtown and what it will do to your property taxes.

Or if it made economic sense to build railcars in Wisconsin, don’t you think someone a little closer than Spain would have done so with their own money? Should I name them, our industrial entrepreneurs who put their family names on the line? Do you think they have lost the instincts that made them wealthy beyond even their own imaginations? No, it was those experienced instincts that told them not to put their own money – real money- into any of these losing propositions.

And I would be curious to know just how much Al Gore lost when Solyndra went bankrupt – I would bet he didn’t put single penny of his own money where that big mouth demands the government puts ours.

“But we need the jobs”, the public works lobby will plead. Indeed we do need jobs; precisely why government needs to get out of the way of those who create real ones.

The statists’ promise of jobs created by emptying public coffers on this or that high-minded project ignores the far greater numbers of jobs that were killed by filling up those coffers in the first place. That $500 million that the government tossed down the Solyndra rat hole took more like $600 million out of the economy (it takes a lot of overhead to piss away someone else’s money).

What would taxpayers have done for themselves with that $600 million? Add a deck on the house, buy a car, invest in a business, take a vacation, buy a Gibson guitar, perhaps? I did, just to say screw you to our President and all the union job-killers who have thrown in with him. Are going to come and take my rosewood fretboards, too, boys? Bring your lunch.

Taxpayers would have spent or saved their own money on something more economically viable than Solyndra. More jobs are created, more businesses prosper, and more incomes rise when economic exchanges are voluntary and people who earned the money decide what to do with it.

Voluntary exchange only occurs when both parties gain more than they trade away. No one needs an extra incentive to make a smart deal; it’s only the stupid ones that need a government subsidy.

The amount of capital is finite, even if the amount of government currency used to measure it is not. Government does not create capital; it only diverts it to purposes other than which its rightful owners would have put it. The rich did not get that way by making bad financial decisions, and government did not go broke by making good ones.

The crowd squeals with delight when the magician pulls a rabbit out the hat; we forget that behind the curtain some child is crying her eyes out wondering where her little cuddly bunny went.

Clearly, President Obama hates bunnies and small children; he wants to take away $470 billion of their parents’ money to fund more stupid politician tricks like Solyndra, Talgo, and the Oconomowoc public wedding chapel. If we love him, he tells us, we should pass his bill.

I never thought about it before he brought it up, but I guess I love bunnies and small children more than I love some slick magician from Illinois. The only trick that worked so far for the Great O is the one where he talks into a teleprompter and makes the jobs disappear.

So here’s a better idea: let’s love ourselves and our neighbors and not pass the bill. The President will be fine in the love department; he has a wife and two daughters and the whole crew over at MSNBC to rub his feet.

The government can not pull rabbits from hats and it cannot create jobs; it can only create an environment in which job-creators flourish, or convince them to invest elsewhere. If the President would quit unwisely picking the latter, he would not need to beg us to love him.

“Moment Of Clarity” is a weekly commentary by Libertarian writer and speaker Tim Nerenz, Ph.D. Visit Tim’s website www.timnerenz.com to find your moment.

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