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Culture of Dependence and Culture of Independence

Posted By Don Boudreaux On April 18, 2010 @ 9:32 am In Nanny State,Politics,Taxes | Comments Disabled

George Will writes wisely on the pathologies and the politics of a value-added tax [1].

A VAT will be rationalized as necessary to restore fiscal equilibrium. But without ending the income tax, a VAT would be just a gargantuan instrument for further subjugating Americans to government.

Believing that a crisis is a useful thing to create, the Obama administration — which understands that, for [faux] liberalism, worse is better — has deliberately aggravated the fiscal shambles that the Great Recession accelerated. During the downturn, federal revenue plunged and spending soared. [2] And, as will happen for two decades, every day 10,000 more baby boomers are joining the ranks of recipients of Medicare and Social Security, two programs with unfunded liabilities of nearly $107 trillion.

In the context of this concatenation of troubles, the administration’s highest priority was to put an enormous new health-care entitlement on the welfare state’s rickety scaffolding. Why? Because the liberals’ lunge to maximize government’s growth depends on quickly creating a crisis that can be called a threat to the entitlement menu and to the currency as a store of value. Then the public can be panicked into accepting the addition of a VAT to the existing menu of taxes.

Michael Barone strikes a similar, but broader, theme – noting that today’s ideological struggle is between persons who endorse a culture of dependence and persons who endorse a culture of independence [3].  (HT Lyle Albaugh)

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[1] George Will writes wisely on the pathologies and the politics of a value-added tax: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/16/AR2010041603993.html

[2] During the downturn, federal revenue plunged and spending soared.: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/25/AR2009082501158.html

[3] Michael Barone strikes a similar, but broader, theme – noting that today’s ideological struggle is between persons who endorse a culture of dependence and persons who endorse a culture of independence: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Tea-parties-fight-Obama_s-culture-of-dependence-91080759.html

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