Defeating Deficit Reduction Sob Stories

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Since everybody else seems to be coming up with plans on how to cope with the skyrocketing national debt, let me try my hand at it too.

The liberals’ easy solution is just to increase taxes on “the rich.” But, if you do the math, there aren’t enough of “the rich” to cover the huge and record-breaking deficit.

Trying to reduce the deficit by cutting spending runs into an old familiar counter-attack. There will be all kinds of claims by politicians and sad stories in the media about how these cuts will cause the poor to go hungry, the sick to be left to die, etc.

My plan would start by cutting off all government transfer payments to billionaires. Many, if not most, people are probably unaware that the government is handing out the taxpayers’ money to billionaires. But agricultural subsidies go to a number of billionaires. Very little goes to the ordinary farmer.

Big corporations also get big bucks from the government, not only in agricultural subsidies but also in the name of “green” policies, in the name of “alternative energy” policies, and in the name of whatever else will rationalize shoveling the taxpayers’ money out the door to whomever the administration designates, for its own political reasons.

The usual political counter-attacks against spending cuts will not work against this new kind of spending cut approach. How many heart-rending stories can the media run about billionaires who have lost their handouts from the taxpayers? How many tears will be shed if General Motors gets dumped off the gravy train?

It would also be eye-opening to many people to discover how much government money is going into subsidizing all sorts of things that have nothing to do with helping “the poor” or protecting the public. This would include government-subsidized insurance for posh and pricey coastal resorts, located too dangerously close to the ocean for a private insurance company to risk insuring them.

This approach would not only circumvent the sob stories, it would also circumvent the ideological battles over whether to cut off money to Planned Parenthood or National Public Radio.

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  • Bob Madden

    Leave it to Mr. Sowell to come up with a novel approach. I LOVE IT!

  • davarino

    I agree, what are we doing waisting all our energy right now trying to defund NPR and Planned Parenthood. Go after stuff that is low hanging fruit and you get a star on the forehead. You can cut that other stuff after 2012 : )

  • Gamaliel Isaac

    When the Democrats wail that people are gonna die if spending is cut we need to point out what will happen if it is allowed to continue to grow. A lot more people are going to die because the money they get for medicare and medicaid will be worthless and they won' t be able to afford medicine or hospitals etc.

  • Raymond in DC

    Agree. Take corn ethanol subsidies (please). I'd like to see not just Democrats but Republicans defend supporting a bogus "green" fuel, a program that, in the process, drives up food prices not just here but worldwide, leading to political and social unrest in developing countries.