FSK wrote an interesting article and I thought I would respond to it here.
A great deal of posturing is going on at the White House these days whether or not to raise the debt ceiling. This is the usual false opposites of debate limited within the mainstream vernacular.
The false dichotomy of “raising taxes” vs. “cutting spending” is trotted out by the media as the (limited) spectrum of debate, similar to the opposite of a Republican is a Democrat and vice versa. In reality, they are the two sides of the same coin of kleptocracy or bribeocracy. As usual, any other points of view are suppressed.
The reason the farmers running the United States Tax Farm present these two false opposites is to keep the herd bickering with each other instead of seeing the farmers or the farm itself. Running a tax farm according to the “Human Livestock Farming Techniques: Democratic Methods” manual is very efficient compared with other tax farms operating with more totalitarian methods. You see, in a democracy, the farmers know the herd is more enthusiastic about production when they believe they are free. Free-range maybe, but never free. Consequently, there is more wealth generated the farmers can siphon off the herd into their pockets.
In addition to the increase in wealth generated, a *MASSIVE* benefit of the democratic farm is the herd will keep each other in line by having them bicker with each other over false opposites presented to them by the farmers. If one member of the herd has the audacity to point out the farm, and the fact the herd is being farmed, and/or suggests the herd jump the fence or not have farmers at all, all other members of the herd will immediately gore/excoriate said member of the herd.
Contrast this with more totalitarian farms, the farmers have to hire more farm hands to keep the herd from stampeding against the farmers themselves. More farm hands = less loot for the farmers. In addition, totalitarian tax farms tend to produce less wealth because the herd is depressed and/or listless about production because they are too tightly controlled and they *KNOW* they are being farmed.
In otherwords, democracy doesn’t ensure your voice is heard; it ensures your voice is drowned out by the herd.
Productive farmers raise livestock and crops. Parasitic farmers own other humans because of a humans ability to self-organize.
So what does this have to do with the debt-ceiling?
As mentioned before, the false opposite presented to the public ignores one of the most vampiric predatory draining of wealth out of the economy: Regulatory Agencies.
The annual cost of federal regulations in the United States increased to more than $1.75 trillion in 2008. Had every U.S. household paid an equal share of the federal regulatory burden, each would have owed $15,586 in 2008. By comparison, the federal regulatory burden exceeds by 50 percent private spending on health care, which equaled $10,500 per household in 2008. While all citizens and businesses pay some portion of these costs, the distribution of the burden of regulations is quite uneven. The portion of regulatory costs that falls initially on businesses was $8,086 per employee in 2008. Small businesses, defined as firms employing fewer than 20 employees, bear the largest burden of federal regulations. As of 2008, small businesses face an annual regulatory cost of $10,585 per employee, which is 36 percent higher than the regulatory cost facing large firms (defined as firms with 500 or more employees). – http://www.sba.gov/content/impact-regulatory-costs-small-firms-0
far more than income tax, GDP of Italy, (Source: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/09/22/red-tape-rises-again-cost-of-regulation-reaches-1-75-trillion)
Moreover, 4,000 more Americans die every year from costs associated with health services regulation (22,000) than from lack of health insurance (18,000).”. – http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa527.pdf
Among the report’s findings:
- Given 2010’s government spending (outlays) of $3.456 trillion, the regulatory “hidden tax” of $1.75 trillion stands at an unprecedented 50.7 percent of the level of federal spending itself.
- Regulatory costs exceed all 2008 corporate pretax profits of $1.463 trillion.
- Regulatory costs dwarf corporate income taxes of $157 billion.
- Regulatory costs tower over the estimated 2010 individual income taxes of $936 billion by 87 percent—nearly double the level.
- Regulatory costs of $1.75 trillion absorb 11.9 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), estimated at $14.649 trillion in 2010.
- Combining regulatory costs with federal FY 2010 outlays of $3.456 trillion reveals a federal government whose share of the entire economy now reaches 35.5 percent.
If I can pass a law where every taxpayer in the US sends me $1, what is my incentive to keep the graving flowing? About $150M at least. What is the taxpayers incentive to stop me? About $1. This is called the “imbalance of incentive” problem. Multiply this by all pandering for a share of the loot, and we have a staggering problem.
Since March 1962, the debt ceiling has been raised 74 times, according to the Congressional Research Service. Ten of those times have occurred since 2001.
Expect more of the same over the next decade. Barring major changes to spending and tax policies, “Congress would repeatedly face demands to raise the debt limit,” CRS wrote.
In theory, the limit is supposed to help Congress control spending. In reality, it doesn’t.
Every time the debt limit needs to be raised, lawmakers and the president are forced to take stock of the country’s fiscal direction, which isn’t a bad thing necessarily.
But the decision about how high to set the ceiling is divorced from lawmakers’ decisions to pass spending hikes and tax cuts. It’s also made after the fact, so it doesn’t do much to pull in the purse strings.
The “debt ceiling” was introduced so government could posture to the public it was being fiscally responsible.
However, when you have the power to tax and collect those taxes unopposed, the descent is inevitable.
When you have the power to print, and print unopposed, the descent is inevitable.
If you have the power to sell off the unborn – sometimes called “national debts” or “deficit financing”, the descent is inevitable.
The moral argument needs to be looked at.
If we say, “Violation of the non-aggression principle is a universally immoral, then we cannot have governments, because governments are just people, and the principle applies to them.”
If we say, “Violation of the non-aggression principle is universally moral, then we cannot have governments because governments are people and we can all run around initiating force against each other. Taxing each other for example.”
We were robbed of the arguments when we were most receptive to them. Government schools and mainstream media – a wholly owned subsidiary of the government – made it so.