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Stimulus spending benefits politicians, not taxpayers

Star Parker on

I recall several presidential elections ago, an elementary school teacher wrote a newspaper column about a mock election he held in his class.

Two students were nominated by their classmates, and then they campaigned for their votes.

Who won the election? One of the students presented an agenda and reasonably argued for the merits of that agenda. The other student promised ice cream for everyone who voted for her. She won.

It is an unusual politician who has the power and authority to give voters ice cream but won't use that power to buy votes.

This is particularly true when voters themselves believe that ice cream is crucial for their health and welfare.

In a recent survey from Pew Research Center, 52% said they prefer "bigger government providing more services," compared with 45% who said they prefer "smaller government providing fewer services."

 

The majority of the American public have bought into the idea that government can solve their problems. When a crisis hits, like now, the first instinct of most is that government needs to step in.

So now, rather than talking about ice cream, let's talk about a few trillion dollars in stimulus spending.

As a result of the first round of stimulus spending, the Congressional Budget Office reports that the nation had a budget deficit of $3.1 trillion in fiscal year 2020. This is triple the nearly trillion-dollar deficit in 2019, about which the CBO was already expressing concern.

At $3.1 trillion, per the CBO, the deficit now stands at 15.2% of our gross domestic product, the largest percentage since 1945, when we were fighting a world war.

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