The Almighty Benevolent Federal Monolith..................

John A. Quayle blueoval57 at VERIZON.NET
Thu Dec 18 01:46:32 MST 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Our Federal Daddy-God
by Jacob G. Hornberger

A short paragraph in an editorial in today’s New York Times provides an 
excellent symptom of the cancer that infects the body politic in America. 
The editorial addresses Caroline Kennedy’s bid to replace Hillary Clinton 
as New York’s U.S. senator. The paragraph reads as follows:

“Another question being asked quietly among government and business types 
in New York is whether Ms. Kennedy has the legislative skills to help New 
York’s senior senator, Charles Schumer, and the rest of the state’s 
delegation, negotiate their state’s fair share of much-needed federal money 
in very difficult times.”

This type of thing has now become such an engrained feature of American 
political life that hardly anyone even bats an eyelash at the fact that it 
takes place. It’s just a given now that the federal government is the 
nation’s gigantic sugar daddy that has a large amount of candy at its 
disposal. Each state must do its best to elect congressmen and senators who 
are most adept at going to Washington and getting their fair share of the 
booty and bringing it home.

This evil, immoral, and corrupt process brings to mind Frédéric Bastiat’s 
famous dictum: “The state is the great fiction by which everyone endeavors 
to live at the expense of everybody else.”

Here’s how the system works: Each taxpayer is required to pay a certain 
amount of his income to the Internal Revenue Service. If he refuses to do 
so, he is sent to a federal penitentiary.

That giant pool of money is then placed at the disposal of Congress. There 
is no defined rule as to how the money is going to be divided up, but this 
is where the deal-making comes in, or as the Times calls it, “negotiation.” 
Trades are made in which congressmen agree to support each other's grants. 
The most effective congressmen, as the Times suggests, are those who are 
able to bring large percentages of the money home to their district.

Oftentimes success is measured by how much the people in a district send to 
the IRS compared to how much money their representatives and senators are 
able to bring to their home district. Of course, never mind that the money 
brought home usually goes to local politicians, contractors, grant 
recipients, and the like, rather than the taxpayers themselves. If a 
congressman brings back more than what the taxpayers paid, he is hailed as 
a great leader and is usually returned to office.

Meanwhile, everyone has come to view the federal government as his daddy or 
his god. Whenever there’s a problem, the instinct is to look immediately to 
daddy or god to give them money. Never mind that the money has been 
forcibly extracted from everyone else by the force of the IRS.

The irony is that it’s this corrupt system itself that is at the root of 
many of the economic woes that people are suffering. Yet people cannot 
bring themselves to confront and accept that because it’s too scary. It 
would be akin to a child’s confronting the possibility that his parents 
might not be able to take care of him. So, people instead blame their woes 
on “freedom and the free market” and continue to call on their daddy-god to 
send them money, blocking out of their minds that it’s just going to make 
matters worse.

What happens if demands on the federal largess exceed the amount of money 
the IRS is collecting? No problem. Our federal daddy-god just prints the 
money to satisfy the ever-increasing demands of his adult-children. Our 
daddy-god even openly and honestly admits that, as reflected in following 
subtitle in a front-page article in today’s New York Times: “Agency vows to 
print as much money as needed to thaw credit markets.”

Of course, never mind the monetary debasement that comes with printing 
money. People will just blame that on greedy businessmen and mysterious 
market conditions, not their daddy-god.

Our federal daddy-god also has made all sorts of promises to help people in 
the future. According a website called U.S. Budget Watch, the U.S. Treasury 
is reporting $56 trillion in unfunded government liabilities. $56 trillion! 
That’s a lot of promises and guarantees, which by the way must be funded by 
taxation or printing of money. Ultimately Americans are responsible for 
making good on those liabilities.

Meanwhile, the spending just goes on and on, conditions keep getting worse 
and worse, and people just continue asking their federal daddy-god for more 
financial help. People are fighting desperately to get their hands on a 
larger piece of the federal pie but, at the same time, doing their best to 
guard their own wealth from the IRS. People just keep assuming that their 
federal daddy-god is all powerful and all-wealthy and that the process can 
go on forever.

Ultimately something has to give, however, and the piper will have to be 
paid. When the day of reckoning arrives, we can only hope that Americans 
will finally realize that the real God (as compared to their federal 
daddy-god that has provided them with all those goodies in response to 
their woes) has created a consistent universe, one in which evil, immoral, 
and corrupt means are incapable of producing good results, not even when 
people obstinately refuse to acknowledge the evil, immorality, and corruption.

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.
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