Winston Churchill famously quipped, “We contend that for a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”  This was good economics and good political rhetoric, but also prescient of our current situation, because the force against which Churchill wielded this quip and much more verbal armament was the march of Eurosocialism that has now engulfed the once-proud continent and is opening its jaws to swallow ours as well.

The Churchill quote is economically sound because of the truism that every dollar spent by government must derive from one of three sources.  The government can tax,  removing money from the private sector by confiscating the earned wealth of its citizens.  The government can borrow, removing money from the private sector through voluntary exchange of debt instruments.  The government, finally, can inflate, effectively removing money from the private sector by reducing the spending power of every dollar held by its private citizens.  There are no other options.  Try to think of one, and it always fits snugly within one of these categories.

Collectivists know this, but some are lured by the chimera of the Keynesian multiplier, by which a dollar spent by government propagates more effectively through the economy, generating 2 or 3 times its nominal value, whereas a lowly privately-spent dollar is, well, just a dollar.  The “magic dollar” theory is now, at the dawn of the 21st century, 70 years of age and as thoroughly a myth as any idea can be, having been debunked time and again by economic studies of real data.

Other collectivists don’t care two hoots about economics; they simply want government to expand in scope and power on a Brandonian scale.  Loosen the reigns, and before you finish your double-soy-latte the United States will be Sweden, where government spending consumes 54 percent of total GDP.  Wait a bit longer, and we’ll be Scotland, Northern Ireland, or Wales, where the figure is 72 to 78 percent. Lest we forget, those countries are actual nations with actual leaders who think that state confiscation of three-quarters of the economy is just jolly-good.   There is no need to decipher what Eurosocialists like Mr. Obama want.  Mr. Obama is clearly, by his own utterances, beguiled by Europe, and he, like Europe’s own hard-left leaders, wants government to consume the maximum politically-feasible amount of your earned wealth.  Do not resist.  You will be happier.  Trust us.

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