7 Reasons Liberal Economic Policies Don’t Work

There’s a reason it took the country so long to pull out of the Great Depression under FDR, why Americans became acquainted with the Misery Index under Carter, and why we’ve had the weakest economic recovery from a recession in U.S. history under Obama. Liberal economic policies just don’t work. In fact, the only time left-wingers have taken charge in the last 40 years without decimating the economy was during the Clinton years when Republicans in Congress balanced the budget and spent 6 years strong-arming Clinton to keep him from molesting the economy like one of his interns. This is no coincidence; it’s a natural consequence of the errant liberal view of economics.

1) Keynesian stimulus doesn’t work. As Walter Williams has pointed out, the whole idea of revving up the economy via a government stimulus is doomed from the start.

…Where does Congress get the resources for the spending? Well, there is no Tooth Fairy and there is no Santa Claus. So, the only way Congress can get one dollar to spend is to take that one dollar from Americans, borrow that one dollar from Americans, or inflate that one dollar from Americans.

So, it’s very much like the visual image of a swimming pool. A person notes there is a shallow end, so he takes the water out of the deep end and pours it in the shallow end, hoping to raise the height of the water in the pool – and you would call that person stupid.

2) You can’t fund the whole country on the backs of the rich. Remember the Buffet Rule that liberals hyped endlessly for months? It turns out it would only raise 45 billion dollars over a decade. All of that money combined will amount to about 2 weeks’ worth of this year’s Obama deficit. That hearkens back to the dirty little secret that liberals don’t want the American people to find out. America already has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world and the most progressive tax code in the Western world. That means the rich are already almost tapped out and since they can afford high dollar accountants, tax shelters, and lobbyists and they can just move out of the country or stop working if that isn’t enough, there’s just not that much more revenue to be had from the wealthy.

3) Liberals incentivize failure. If I were willing to pay anyone and everyone $500 who would send me proof that they hit themselves in the face with a hammer hard enough to leave a bruise, YOU might not do it, but you could safely predict a 10,000% increase in the number of people hitting themselves in the face with a hammer over the next few months. So, if that’s true, what are liberals incentivizing with food stamps, welfare, 99 weeks on unemployment insurance, and other giveaway programs? Only liberals would be surprised when they produce more failure by rewarding people for failing.

4) They create a hostile business environment. When Uday Hussein used to run Iraq’s soccer team, players who performed poorly were slapped, spit on, and beaten with electric cables until the blood flowed. This is similar to how liberals treat American businesses. They demonize them, raise their taxes, bury them in new regulations, make it easier to sue them, and harass them with regulatory agencies at every turn. Then, they become puzzled as to why those same businesses aren’t creating jobs or are looking to move more of their business overseas. You can’t cut the sparrow’s throat and fry it up for dinner and listen to it sing at the same time.

5) The business environment becomes unpredictable. Because liberals believe in routing as much of American life through the hands of government bureaucrats as humanly possible, businesses never know what to expect. They could lose profits via new taxes, have huge new expenses because of regulations, have projects shut down by the EPA, face huge lawsuits for spurious reasons, be crippled by labor union strikes, and on and on it goes. When businesses fear the unexpected, they tend to become cautious. They don’t hire, they don’t expand, and they horde cash to make sure they don’t get wiped out by some arbitrary decision made by a government official who has never so much as run a lemonade stand in his life.

6) Liberals cause businesses to focus on government instead of the product. In Ayn Rand’s classic Atlas Shrugged, Hank Rearden’s company could outperform his competitors, but they were still able to hamstring him using their allies in government. That’s the environment liberals encourage today and it’s why we’re spending increasingly larger sums on elections. For many businesses, lobbying and greasing palms in D.C. has become just as important as their performance. Chrysler, Solyndra, Bank of America, Citigroup, and (A.I.G.) among many, many others could tell you all about that.

7) Government is inherently slow, stupid, and inefficient. Saying that government doesn’t do anything very well is like noting that it’s easier to get a suntan at noon than at midnight. Yet, because liberals have a totalitarian impulse to control as many aspects as possible of their fellow citizens’ lives, they never stop working to transfer as much power as possible to Washington, D.C. Since there is absolutely nothing that the government can run better, cheaper, and more efficiently than the private sector, anything the government takes over from the market degrades in quality and increases in price. As Ann Coulter has noted,

If politicians and employers had guaranteed us “free” food 50 years ago, today Democrats would be wailing about the “food crisis” in America, and you’d be on the phone with your food care provider arguing about whether or not a Reuben sandwich with fries was covered under your plan.

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