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The Government Has No Money

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Why is this so hard for so many people to understand? Government has no money of its own. It only has what it can take from us in fees and taxes.  Although that may be interpreted to mean the government has no money because it already has all our money and can get it anytime.

I posted a bit of whimsy last night, offering “free collidge eddication” at Fimbo State, just turn in a thousand cereal boxtops . A reader, Phoebe, was quick to point out that it wasn’t really “free,” because you’d have to buy all that cereal. And still pay the taxes that fund the school.

How many times have I heard parents say they have to send their kids to wretched public schools because “It’s free”? How many times have we heard lame-brain leftid politicians call for “universal tuition-free college”? And then there’s the crowning idiocy, the “universal guaranteed income.”

But nothing comes without a cost. Wealth is created by people working to provide goods and services to others who want them and are willing to pay for them. It is not created by the government. It is not found growing on trees or scattered on the ground like mannah. If something is “free” to you–a welfare check, say–you can be sure that someone else is paying for it. You are either paying a not-very-subtly hidden cost yourself, by paying, for instance, local school tax, or someone else is paying.

Nobody creates wealth by sitting in a college classroom or staying home to play video games. The more people who are doing things like that, the less wealth is being created. And those who are creating it are forced to support those who aren’t. Potlatch Nation has no future but universal poverty.

Why is that so hard to understand?



 

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