If your profligate friend blew his budget on liquor, you might feel bad for him. But it’s unlikely that you would be willing to fork over money to cover his mistake. He needs to figure it out. And maybe, then, he will learn a lesson for the future.
This is exactly how I feel about all this whining about the federal deficit. I didn’t cause it. It’s not my problem. I should not be forced to pay for it. I don’t work every day in order to earn money to pay for other people’s problems.
Admit that you agree. You don’t really care about the deficit. Not really. It’s an abstraction to you. More crucially, the deficit is not your fault. You are not responsible for paying for one dime of the federal debt. No portion of your justly made income should be taken to cover the fiscal irresponsibility of anyone except perhaps your children.
Actually, it’s very bad parenting always to be ready to pay the kids’ debts. It’s similarly bad citizenship always to be willing to pay the government’s debts.
All this media talk – and it is incessant and ubiquitous – about how the deficit is way more important than your property rights completely disregards the realities of politics. Namely: politicians and bureaucrats desperately need an excuse to take your money. Making you pay for their past mistakes is as good an excuse as any.
This post was published at Mises Canada on NOVEMBER 7, 2017.