For the second time this week President Obama emphatically stated “we can’t cut our way to prosperity”. Either he likes the sound of it or it is his opening salvo for the coming sequester hearings. In fact he has used this exact phrase five times since 2011. It is interesting that he plagiarizes a statement from someone he has show distain for.
The original phrase was uttered by Winston Churchill in 1903 and it goes like this “For a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself by the handle.” That would be the same Winston Churchill whose bust, a gift from England after 9-11 was displayed in the oval office. Well….. until Obama took up residence. To Obama with roots in Kenya Mr. Churchill represents colonialism and there is no room for that in his temporary office. Colonialism represents a few rich whites exploiting the native population. Now we are beyond that and it is a few rich blacks exploiting and starving the native population. But that’s alright, diversity is our strength.
Enough with the roots of the phrase, who is right? Churchill who held England together or Obama who is tearing America apart? An easy way to test the durability of any theory is the stress test. What if we took each phrase to its max and tested its validity?
Starting with the original version, can we tax ourselves into prosperity? What if we maxed out taxes at 100% what would happen? For one then the government would have to provide for every need since the citizens would have no income. That would mean food, transportation, and housing for every man woman and child. Thru necessity and fairness it would all be the same. What would then be the incentive to work hard and prosper if you still get the same as everyone else? How many would take the extra effort to grow the economy? Why even go to work if you still get your basic needs for free.
Now taking the plagiarized version, can we cut Government and stimulate growth? If all taxes were reduced to zero what effect would that have? What do you think people would do with the extra 30% pay increase? Their just might be a lot of new spending going on. Would that stimulate growth? Union government workers might object and say what about roads, schools, police, and fire departments? What about free enterprise?
Realistically neither scenario would work but which one seems like the most likely to cause the economy to grow? If you are not a federal employee like Obama, cutting seems like the preferred option. Is it possible that when Senators (federal employees), Congressman (federal employees) News people (friends of federal employees) and those on the dole (dependant on federal employees) tell us cutting is too extreme they might have their self interest and not the country in mind?
Something seems to reek in the bucket that Obama is trying lift us up with.