Friday, February 6, 2009

Why should I care?

It seems more and more likely that we will be saddled with a massive new government spending program as Congress embarks on its reenactment of an old Richard Pryor film, Brewster's Millions. The premise of the movie had something to do with a requirement that Pryor spend $30 million in 30 days without having anything at the end to show for it. I find this to be an apt analogy has Congress attempts to spend $1 trillion simply to be spending it. They neither want nor expect to get anything out of if, absent a massive enlargement of an already bloated government.

Public opinion is not behind this bill, although roughly 37% of us think it's just fine. Some of that percentage is surely simple partisanship: "if the Republicans are against it, them I'm for it." I also suspect that a good portion of those people support it because they think they will be on the receiving end of buckets of good 'ole free government money. In that they are probably correct, particularly if they belong to one of the liberal pet identity groups. Sure, they recognize that it's a lot of money, but they seem to be thinking "Why should I care?"

I believe that they are thinking that way because they pay no taxes themselves, so they think that they will not be on the hook for the tremendous cost of this spending orgy. I think they are sadly mistaken. There is simply no way that the government can throw away a trillion dollars that they don't have without causing a devaluation of the dollar. That doesn't even consider the further trillions that will be required to keep the newly bloated government going after the stimulus dollars are all spent. These people are going to find that the inevitable inflation and incumbent loss in buying power is going to hit them a lot harder than those that can better absorb such losses.

I think they will find out far too late that they should have cared.