Predatory Governors

The governors of Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alaska have indicated that they are seriously considering turning down the federal stimulus money being targeted for their states. In some cases, citing fear of a “strings-attached” package deal.

The governors of California, Michigan, and North Carolina have publicly stated that they would gladly take any stimulus money that other states turn down — even if it means renting moving trucks to get it.

The federal government, of course, does not have any wealth to distribute to any individual, organization or state that it does not first forcibly confiscate from those productive individuals who have created or earned it. Unless, of course, it borrows money from other nations or simply prints new money untethered to anything of tangible value.

Taxes must be expropriated from the limited resources of individuals and enterprises, leaving crumbs for the pursuits of industry and livelihood. Borrowed money is lent upon condition of repayment in time. Fiat money is backed by nothing but future debt. In each case, the wealth represented by these funding sources must come from the pockets, paychecks and currency values of working American citizens, now or in the future, and on unfathomable scales.

If activity of this nature were to occur in the private sector, it would be called theft, involuntary servitude and fraud. And the perpetrators of these crimes would be punishable by law. In the public sector, it is called public policy and is championed by politicians, media and partisan voters, who heap praise and fortune on the perpetrators.

States that accept stimulus money derive the government-provided funds from one of those sources. The government being merely a pass-through agency — or, the perpetrator of immoral activity. The governors of states that willingly accept the loot collected and distributed by the federal government are the recipients of ill-gotten gains. And the governors of states that reject the loot extracted from taxpayers, consumers and generational debtors remain untainted by crime.

In this desperate economic environment, there are clearly some who would eagerly sacrifice their good moral standing and accept stolen goods, without regard to the suffering of those who involuntarily provide it, if doing so would offer momentary relief to their dismal material condition and perhaps sweeten their prospects for praise and political security.

The governors who stand by quietly waiting for a share of the public bounty to come their way, while willfully ignoring the plight of their invisible victims, are contemptible. But those governors who would fill their bellies with the fiscal entrails of the innocent and then come back for the scraps left by those few governors with moral clarity are beneath contempt. They are truly predators on the national treasure and they richly deserve scorn, ridicule and persecution.

We know who they are. They have given us their names themselves. Will we know enough to revile them?

RELATED

The “Economic Stimulus” Myth
by Harry Binswanger | February 24, 2009
It is amazing that in this crisis, which is a crisis of over-consumption, over-borrowing, too little liquidity, the government’s idea of a “stimulus” is to encourage more consumption, more borrowing, and less liquidity.

Battle Lines Quickly Set Over Planned Policy Shifts
By Lori Montgomery | Washington Post | March 1, 2009
[Obama’s] plan would produce annual deficits far larger in dollar terms than any recorded before the recession…Washington would continue to borrow heavily, and the national debt would double over the next five years.

Taxation Is Robbery
by Frank Chodorov | 1962
The Encyclopaedia Britannica defines taxation as “that part of the revenues of a state which is obtained by the compulsory dues and charges upon its subjects.”

What You Should Know About Inflation
Henry Hazlitt | 1964
When the supply of money is increased, people have more money to offer for goods. If the supply of goods does not increase — or does not increase as much as the supply of money — then the prices of goods will go up. Each individual dollar becomes less valuable because there are more dollars.

Government Debt Has No Upside
Robert P. Murphy | 1/16/2006
When the government spends more than it takes in through taxes or other methods of acquiring funds, it must make up the difference by borrowing.

What Could Happen
By Don Stott | Whiskey and Gunpowder | Feb 27th, 2009
I am not trying to be an alarmist, but I am worried about a lot of things. I just have to imagine what the chain reaction of the current downhill slide of the world’s economies can bring.

Sanford first to reject funds
By James Rosen | McClatchy Newspapers | March 10, 2009
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is expected Wednesday to become the first governor to formally reject some of the federal stimulus money earmarked by Congress for his state.

Texas gov. rejects stimulus money for unemployment
By MONICA RHOR | Associated Press | Jan. 27, 2009
Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday rejected $555 million in federal stimulus money

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About Tim Peck

Unaffiliated Objectivist
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