I have said it before and I will say it again, AmericanThinker bothers me, and most of the time I skip it in the morning on my daily tour through about 200 websites. The site is a harbor of petty name-calling and neocon war fantasy most of the time, but every now and then, something is put incredibly well. An economic note recently did just that, hi-lighting the perils of democracy:
The budget cannot be balanced by the democratic process. That is because we have three distinct groups, each acting rationally: clients of the welfare state, who vote to obtain as many benefits as they can; taxpayers, who vote to pay as little as they can; and politicians, who can only get elected by appeasing both groups through deficit spending. Sooner or later, this house of cards will collapse. There are no good options anymore. As the House Budget Committee‘s website reveals, 47% of our debt is now held by foreigners. Either foreigners will quit lending to the U.S., or the federal government will devalue our currency to pay the debt (resulting in massive inflation) or taxes will be raised to obscene levels, destroying economic growth.All of this is happening because our country has become democratized far beyond what our Founders intended. Twenty-five centuries ago, the philosopher Plato argued that democracy led to tyranny when the people rose up against the propertied class; the tyrant gained his power by first posing as a “defender of democracy” and a “man of the people” against the oligarchs.4 America’s Founders knew this, of course, so they devised not a democracy but a republic of limited powers. The Founders envisioned that factions antagonistic to each other would balance each other out. But they never envisioned that government could loot the wealth of one faction and give it to another. Under the original Constitution, the Federal government could collect taxes on excises and tariffs only, not on incomes. Today, the government takes our money in the form of payroll deductions, and promises it to someone else before we even cash our checks. When that proves insufficient, they borrow from future generations of taxpayers to pay for today’s entitlements. The insatiable appetite of the welfare state has destroyed the constitutional framework carefully constructed by the Founders.Madison warned us of democratic urges like “a rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, [or] an equal division of property.”5 Today, our body politic is infected with all three diseases.
We have already seen authoritarian attempts to control the budget because the political process cannot. Monetary policy has been placed into the hands of appointed commissioners on the Federal Reserve Board, and the justification offered for forcing every single person in the country into the authoritarian ObamaCare program against his will is the need to “control costs.” These measures have proven insufficient, so there will be more of them. We are thus left with the unpalatable choices of an authoritarian denial of welfare state-benefits, or an authoritarian confiscation of property to pay for them.
Welcome to socialism, folks. Welcome to tyranny.
Yes, I did link to it previously. This time I had to excerpt…