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Tuesday, November 24, 2009


From The Marston Chronicles

Perhaps you recognize this as an acronym for the ungrammatical expression, "There aint no such thing as a free lunch."
The point of this expression is that nothing in life comes free. The critical word is "comes". Those things you give are free if you truly do not expect or want anything back in return. Anything you receive comes at some cost to you. Such is the case with a so-called free lunch. Not only is someone or some institution paying for it, such as a charity or the government, but it still comes at a cost to you. There is no way anyone in this country can get a totally free ride. We all pay taxes. Even if you pay no income taxes, you still pay sales taxes on most things you buy and so do charities on the things they buy.

Of course, there are those who do everything they can to get as much of a free ride as possible and let others pay for it. Believe it or not, this comes at a terrible cost to such a person. It comes not as a monetary cost but as a loss of something far more important: freedom. Such a person is now dependent upon someone else or some institution for their very sustenance. How is this any different from being a peasant or serf totally dependent upon the whim of the local baron for everything? We no longer have barons running our lives but something far worse: the government. So what makes the government far worse? The baron only ruled his own estate; the government rules all of us.

So what is so bad about that since we live in a democracy? All that means is that we get to elect the people who decide exactly how much some unelected government official gets to run our lives at literally the point of a gun. Now none of this is usually all without some purported "good" intent. The problem with this is that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions". Most of what the government promises to do for us sounds good on the surface. As always, the devil is in the details. After all, who can argue against free lunches for the poor kids at school, free health care for those who cannot afford it and for that matter everything free for all of us who cannot afford it? Where do we stop and who gets to decide who is poor and cannot afford some good thing?

That is where we come back to tanstaafl. Who is going to pay for all of these "free" goodies that are not free at all? Some folks propose that the rich pay for all of these freebies. They already pay 70% of all taxes in this country. Soaking the rich to subsidize the poor says they should pay 100% of the taxes. Obviously, the rich would soon be on their way to some tax free haven more than they already are if we did that. Even if they stayed, how much more would we raise in tax revenue? There is only another 30% to be gained on top of the current amount. In fiscal year 2009, all of the governments in the United States are expected to have revenues of $4,636,000,000,000. If we get the rich to pay all of the taxes, that 30% will raise another $1,390,800,000,000 for a total of $6,026,800,000,000. That should solve the problem, shouldn't it? Well, no, because all of those same governments are expecting to spend $6,456,000,000,000 in that same year. In other words, all of the various governments are already planning to run a deficit of $1,820,000,000,000. Making the rich pay all of the taxes will not even cover the projected deficit.

Since even making all of the "rich" pay all of the taxes, which isn't happening, still won't cover our existing expenses, how can we in good conscience add one damn thing to our expenditures? That means no new health care, no cap and trade, no nothing. That is the financial aspect of all this mess. That does not cover the loss of freedom in not being able to make your own choices. It is the young people under thirty who will suffer the most. Ironically this is the group that elected the folks currently running the show. People under thirty do not need general health insurance only catastrophic health insurance but they will either have to buy it, pay a whopping fine or go to jail under the current proposals. That is so their premiums can pay for the health care of their grandparents who really do need it. Not only that, but they will be saddled with the debt this "free" health care will add to the current deficit of $1,820,000,000,000 by at least doubling it to $3,620,000,000,000
for each and every year after it takes effect for as far into the future as we can project it. When will this fiscal insanity cease? January, 2011 (the date the next congress takes office) seems a long way off.