The presidential campaign went into full redistributionist mode today when the President announced a government plan to buy food to help farmers – in other words the President is taking money out of our pockets (which is not enough to cover the bill, so he’ll and Congress will just borrow some more and add it to our burgeoning debt) to buy some food to give to others so that farmers can sell their products for an artificially higher price.
Here’s what the President said in Iowa:
“Today the Department of Agriculture announced that it will buy up to $100 million worth of pork products, $50 million worth of chicken, and $20 million worth of lamb and farm-raised catfish. Prices are low, farmers and ranchers need help, so it makes sense. It makes sense for farmers who get to sell more of their product, and it makes sense for taxpayers who will save money because we’re getting food we would have bought anyway at a better price.”
How does this make any sense at all?
We don’t have the money to buy these products.
The government is picking winners and losers again. Real estate investors aren’t making enough money. Let’s buy some of their real estate. Artists aren’t making enough money. Let’s buy some of their artwork. Book publishers aren’t making enough money. Let’s buy some books! Yea! Let’s buy books, art and real estate because honestly, you know you might buy some of those things yourself anyway, so why not have the government buy it instead?
Just think, we’ll help the real estate investors, artists and publishers.
Don’t they deserve help as much as the farmers?
Who is this President kidding and why do so many people fall for this blatantly false premise that somehow there is a free lunch. So my tax dollars get wasted to buying products from the farmer to keep their prices high. Unless the government then sells me that product at a lower price, I’m paying more. And, I’ll be paying more even if the government doesn’t sell it to me cheaply because we had to borrow money to buy it in the first place.
Oh, and who gets this food the government bought?
Let me know when that pound of bacon shows up in your refrigerator, courtesy of Barack Obama.
Bottom line, there is no free lunch. Period.
Friedman is right. No free lunch exists anywhere. It’s always tomorrow.
Unfortunately, this kind of government action – subsidies and picking winners and losers – is the gateway drug to tyranny.
We can’t afford this onslaught against freedom and liberty. We certainly can’t afford this raid on our pocketbooks.