06 February 2009

Jerry Pournelle on the 'stimulous' and inevitable nature of government

(sorry for the long excerpt - it's from here )
The bad news is that the "stimulus" bill, which is the largest appropriations bill in the history of the world, is still on track for passage. It nationalizes a lot of the economy, and once those steps are taken, the Iron Law of Bureaucracy will see to it that the institutions created by it will remain. Forever. I have a few more words on that over in mail.
The tax cut provision of the "stimulus bill" seem aimed at solidifying party control: most of it is transfer payments to people who don't now pay taxes. In the US 40% don't pay federal taxes. If any large number of those are given money as transfer payments they will learn to rely on them. At which point they will be motivated to vote. And community organizers will see that they do vote. Now understand: many of those who get negative income taxes do necessary work and they aren't very well paid. The question becomes, is that a federal problem, and should it be dealt with by transfer payments? Because once this is instituted, it's going to be pretty permanent. Those affected by it will be mobilized to defend it, and it will mean more to them than it does to those opposed. So it goes.
It does look as if we are going to have a sea change, a fundamental change in the relationship between the United States and its people. There was such a change during Roosevelt's time, when Washington went from being a small town in Maryland to the Capital of a Federalized United States. There sill be another, I think, now.

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