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Democracy and Power 103: Government money
In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other. – Voltaire (1764)
The money taxed and spent by the politicians comes from the labor and ingenuity of millions of working persons. Politicians spend other peoples’ money.
The politician transfers money from productive people to mostly favored special interest groups.
Andrew Taylor of the AP reports on the JOBS BILL in AolNews:
Last-minute money to save the jobs of tens of thousands of teachers and other public workers overcame a Republican filibuster Wednesday and sped toward Senate passage.
This legislation creates debt and directs money to public employees who in turn give gigantic amounts of money to elect Democrats.
Worse, the machinations and the corruption of government are exposed. Reid desperately wanted to send more than $26 billion to the states for public employees. However, there are a few “deficit hawks,” that actually worry about the federal debt, and Reid was forced to cut programs and increase taxes.
Reid cut $12 billion in Food Stamps that goes into effect in 2014, and cut a tax credit claimed by the working poor. Also, Reid raised taxes on US-based multinational companies. Raising taxes on big companies, and cutting benefits for the poor was good politics. Reid counted the votes. Big business has fewer votes than the public employees throughout America. As for the poor, they are not a big voting block. Besides, 2014 is a long way off and the money for Food Stamps can be restored.
Most interesting was how Reid extracted the votes of Senators Snowe and Collins of Maine. Previously, Reid was going to reduce money for ship building, which would hurt Maine. Taylor observes:
Snowe and Collins also had been concerned about cuts to Navy shipbuilding accounts since the Bath Iron Works in Maine is so essential to the state's economy. Majority Leader Harry Reid got rid of those proposed cuts Monday night.
And Maine’s Senators supplied the votes, allowing the JOBS BILL to go forward, which will become law. Every working American and future workers will be taxed and pay for this legislation.
The Democracy and Power Lesson:
Besides appropriating and spending the money of millions of Americans for their political gain, the process exposes the politician’s thought process. Politicians count votes.
Democracy and Power 107: Counting votes
In a democracy the politician must favorably influence the majority of their voting constituents. In all political decisions the politician calculates how many votes are gained by voting money spent on an interest group versus how many votes are lost.
As stated, Harry Reid used every working Americans’ money to help public employees. Harry Reid has a difficult re-election. He expects the public employees to strongly influence his re-election.
As for political game played between Reid, Snow and Collins, read H.L. Menchen’s opinion of politicians of the last century:
A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man. In order to get any where near high office has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker.