How the “Spendulus” Bill Will Impoverish Us

Sunni's picture

The Washington Post has oh-so-helpfully laid out how the stimulus bill—now waiting for the thief-in-chief’s signature—divvies up the spoils, in a five-page article How Will the Government Stimulus Plan Affect You?. Five pages sounds like a lot, but each page is fairly short. Personally, I like David Gross’ take on it: “Congress has decided to play double-or-nothing with our money in an attempt to get the economy reinflated ...”

But first, I must take issue with this utterly ridiculous statement from page two:

Aging bridges, stressed under the weight of today's SUVs, reinforced with fresh steel and concrete.

Nothing like a bit of snide blame-gaming in a news report. Sure, many passenger vehicles have gotten larger and heavier over the past 10–15 years—but is that really the bulk of road weight? How many of “today’s SUVs”—however that might be defined—are heavier than an empty tractor trailer rig? That kind of fast-and-loose editorializing bumps my skeptimeter up a goodly amount, so with that in mind let’s cut to the chase.

The WaPo report is very craftily presented over its five pages. Whoever organized it understands primacy and recency effects in remembering—how else to explain their estimates of the boondoggle’s effect on the national debt coming in the middle of the pork parade, on page four? That is the real and too-enduring effect of this piece of crap legislation. Here’s how they break it down [reformatted to change their annoying underscores to proper em dashes; emphasis mine]:

One thing about the president's $790 billion stimulus package is certain: It will jack up the federal debt.

Whether or not it succeeds in producing jobs and taming the recession, tomorrow's taxpayers will end up footing the bill.

Forecasters expect the 2009 deficit — for the budget year that began last Oct 1 — to hit $1.6 trillion including new stimulus and bank-bailout spending. That's about three times last year's shortfall.

The torrents of red ink are being fed by rising federal spending and falling tax revenues from hard-hit businesses and individuals.

The national debt — the sum of all annual budget deficits — stands at $10.7 trillion. Or about $36,000 for every man, woman and child in the U.S.

Interest payments alone on the national debt will near $500 billion this year. It's already the fourth-largest federal expenditure, after Medicare-Medicaid, Social Security and defense.

This will affect us all directly for years, as well as our children and possibly grandchildren, in higher taxes and probably reduced government services. It will also force continued government borrowing, increasingly from China, Japan, Britain, Saudi Arabia and other foreign creditors.

For an interesting consideration of who properly owes what, and how much each might pay under those varying scenarios, please see Partial Reneg of the National Debt.

Remember—and insert this idea in conversations on the subject, because it is vitally important that more people understand it—all government programs, spending bills, etc., dole out less than they take in. Therefore, they are always a net drain. All the overhead costs of implementing the faux largess is paid for out of the money the gov steals from us. Why continue to feed that bureaucracy?

Many people are familiar with the idea of some homeowners walking away from mortgages, because they owe more than the home is now worth. Haven’t we been paying way more to the fedgov and stategovs than they’re worth? Notice that federal spending is rising, yet the tax thievery yield is falling. Do you really want to enable such irresponsibility?

I continue to encounter income tax revolt mutterings at several mainstream (non-libertarian) blogs I visit. Even knowing that many posters are probably heavier on bluster than they are resolve, it’s a highly encouraging trend. Why continue to feed the beast? It clearly has no regard for our individual circumstances and needs; its actions are flattening us already!

I understand very well how fear keeps many from doing what they know is right—but often that fear is a paper tiger. There are many ways to monkeywrench income taxes; don’t let fear of the IRS box you in completely. Surely there is at least one small thing you can do to keep more of your hard-earned money in your hands, rather than throwing it down the fedgov toilet. I haven’t had time to peruse his archives, but I suspect that David Gross at The Picket Line has offered many inspiring ideas already. They cannot catch us all; and they do not have the resources to come after all whom they do catch—especially if we make it hard for them. Of course, rule #1 is not to tell anyone exactly what you’re doing, so as to avoid creating a record that can be used against you, and/or having someone snitch on you.

For those who may criticize the above by saying I am too focused on income taxes, I know full well that all taxation is theft. I try to minimize the amount of all taxes I pay (just one of many benefits of using Craigslist, Freecycle, garage sales, etc.). It is income tax season, and people are getting fed up with our supposed servants at all levels of state governance ignoring their justified concerns and continuing to add to the problem, rather than getting the hell out of the economy and letting it settle itself. My desire is to add to that momentum.