Are we robbing Peter to pay Paul?

Published 10:50 pm Wednesday, September 14, 2011

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan (God rest his soul) “when politicians talk about boosting the economy on the eve of an election year, you can bet their plan will be based on the time honored principle of robbing Peter to pay Paul”. As I recall, Jimmy Carter in the fall of 1977, had just announced a plan to pump up the economy by greatly increasing spending on roads, bridges and schools. Reagan knew that Carter was trying to raise his chances of winning in 1978 by taking several hundred billion out of the private economy in the form of taxes (robbing Peter) and turning around and putting it back in the private economy by giving it to construction contractors and labor unions (paying Paul).

I never made above a B in Miss Florence Garner’s math class but even 6th grade arithmetic tells me that if you take a billion out of the private economic pot and turn around and put a billion back in the private economic pot you aren’t adding anything to the total.

Of course, if you were Jimmy Carter you could be sure your beauratic legions would make sure most of that money went labor unions and contractors who donated large amounts to the democrat party.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

David Price