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Culture of Dependence and Culture of Independence

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George Will writes wisely on the pathologies and the politics of a value-added tax [2].

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. [3] 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 [4].  (HT Lyle Albaugh)