As Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Tour of Revelation continued, she recently appeared on Pod Save America and claimed that the government pays for tax cuts, revealing that the democratic socialist does not really know what she’s talking about. Like she has done in other interviews, she spouted many talking points you’d find on Facebook or Twitter – or on the back of a dirty hippy’s Volkswagen Beetle. And this is deeply troubling for someone who the media, the Democrats, and millennials have championed as the future of American politics.
Conservative media homed in on Ocasio-Cortez’s incoherent response to an elementary question: How do you expect to pay for all this free stuff? While this is typically a difficult query for socialists to answer, which usually elicits a shrug or some tommyrot “make the rich pay” argument, it isn’t new.
There was one part of her two-minute diatribe, filled with the overuse of “like,” that showcased what is wrong with the public’s view on what government is and isn’t.
Here is a passage from her longwinded reply:
“I think it’s that same exact thing. It’s that we … they say, “How are you gonna pay for it?” as though they haven’t used these same ways to pay for unlimited wars, to pay for trillion-dollar tax cuts and tax cut extensions. They use these mechanisms to pay for these things all the time. They only want to know … it just seems like their pockets are only empty when we’re talking about education and investing in human capital in the United States: education, healthcare, housing, and investing in the middle class.”
The left routinely makes this statement: The government is paying for tax cuts. Is this the realistic nature of government?
Does Government Pay for Tax Cuts?
Many of us can fall for this concept, since it is constantly parroted on mainstream television. Unfortunately, the right is just as guilty for espousing this fallacy.
Because the government spends so much and imposes itself on every aspect of our lives, a large number of us mistakenly believe that the government has its own money. The government does not have any wealth of its own – everything it has is taken from the people. There isn’t some magical tree outside of Capitol Hill that creates money – yes, you could talk about the Federal Reserve money-printing machine, but that’s another issue for another day.
When politicians vote to give individuals, households, small businesses, or corporations a tax cut, they are merely voting to give you back some of your money that was extracted from you at the barrel of a gun by the IRS.
It isn’t paying for anything, it’s returning a sum of dollars.
Should you fall for Ocasio-Cortez’s argument, then you’re essentially conceding that the government possesses and controls all the wealth in the country, and the state only allows you to exist. This is hardly the case.
There was plenty of consternation when President Donald Trump and the Republicans agreed to cut taxes last year without taking an ax to the budget. As a result, the deficit is projected to balloon to $1 trillion and the Treasury is borrowing at record levels without any end in sight.
Now, it is an entirely different case when conservatives and libertarians sound the alarm about tax cuts enhancing the budget deficit. You can warn that, without adequate revenues, the government will need to slash spending to avoid going deeper into debt at the end of the fiscal year.
This is a perfectly sufficient, logical, and consistent argument, one that respects your intelligence and liberty.
The State is a God
Socialists, or democratic socialists, believe the state is a deity – or that it should be.
To the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders of the world, the government is a benevolent force that should be guaranteeing healthcare and housing, employment, and education as human rights. And, because these are human rights, they should be given to the people for free, without any idea as to how to pay for such lofty objectives.
Let’s see how that’s working out in South Africa or Venezuela.
Yes, the government can steal from you as much as it wants in order to gift the nation with an abundance of goodies. But that’s completely different than meretriciously averring that the state has wealth. It never has and never will. Let’s stop pretending that it is either being munificent or odious when it gives us back the fruits of our labor.
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