Political News — Current Debates — Political Commentary — Election Politics 2014

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Killing the Golden Goose

If you're a conservative Republican, or even a libertarian, you can readily understand the logic and political case for shrinking the size of government, and for advocating economic policy fixes along the lines of those offered by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

But what if you believe in the Welfare State? What if you truly believe that the kind of robust, unrestrained capitalism favored by conservatives will leave the poor and the weak hopelessly behind?

If these are the beliefs you hold, you too should be in favor of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

How can this be? Aren't the Democrats, led by Barack Obama and Joe Biden, the party of compassion for the poor and the down-trodden? How can the poorest among us possibly benefit from conservative ideas which are so clearly tailored to benefit the rich?

It's simple, actually.

Economic policies that favor the rich also benefit the poor. The great political and economic irony of capitalism and free markets is that the poor and the disadvantaged do far better in them than they do when liberal (and allegedly "compassionate") statist policies are practiced.

No economic system is better at producing the kind of excess wealth and prosperity that funds social welfare programs than... capitalism. The kind of punitive taxation and class-warfare approach to government favored by President Obama and the Democrats discourages people from profit-seeking and entrepreneurship. Why work hard if you're going to be demonized in society and denied the rightful fruits of your toil?

Throughout history the coffers of government have always been filled to overflowing from the exertions of people seeking wealth for themselves. And it's from those coffers that social security checks, and food stamps, and disability payments and more, flow in great abundance. When companies and businessmen are targeted by laws which are meant to make money harder to earn, companies and businessmen will invariably do one of the following:

In all these cases, it's poor and middle class people who suffer the most. When businesses or businessmen are punished for making profits, they quite rationally plan their futures to try and avoid such punishment. In the process they earn less, sell less, and employ less. Every lost sale, every transaction given up, and every lost job, translates into a diminished livelihood for someone at the bottom end of the economic ladder.

With this in mind, consider what the Obama administration has done since it came to power:

It has racked up more new debt — $6 trillion — than any other administration in American history. That debt will have to be paid off. Obama wants to pay it off by taxing the rich. If he's able to do that, the rich will suffer, and everyone working for the rich will suffer too. Everyone suffers.

Obama seems to think he can squeeze the upper classes and American corporations as much as he wants, secure in his assumption that no upper limit exists to the level of taxes he can apply. Like the greedy cottage-dwellers in Aesop's fable who kill the goose that lays golden eggs, Obama and liberal Democrats risk losing everything for the poor in whose name they tax and punish. American businessmen and corporations are not infinitely industrious and driven. Take enough from them and they will cease their labors — producing no wealth for themselves... or for anyone else.