by Grant Davies, What we Think and Why
The idea still works today. Many state governments have upped the ante by running "Mega Millions" lotteries where the prospects (however dim) of winning 64 million dollars gets the blood pumping for a different generation of "enticees." The Lotto was originally billed as a method for raising money for education. Somehow it never got spent on anything except buying votes from political prostitutes, but that's for a different article.
Now the Congressional Republicans have upped the amount to 61 billion dollars to entice the gullible into thinking that the government is actually serious about cutting the budget. But before we get too critical of them we must keep in mind that the Obama administration and the Democrats think that sum is way too large.
As any economist worth his degree will tell you, it's not about cuts in the budget anyway. It's about government spending.
Balanced budget chatter is all the rage recently and you can expect any number of candidates in the 2012 election cycle to beat the subject into the dirt to get into power. But consider this, if an armed robber steals the exact amount needed to support his cocaine habit, his budget is in balance.
So even though deficits matter in some important ways, it's the spending that is robbing us of our freedom, not the vigorish payments. The video below will help us keep the whole situation in perspective without boring us to death like this commentary threatens to do.
So will the people actually fall for this nonsense once again because they are enticed into belief by the seemingly large dollar figure being tossed around? That, my friends, is the sixty four billion dollar question.
(Editor's Note: A retired investment advisor and resident of Illinois, Grant Davies blogs from a liberty perspective at What we Think and Why)
Related discussion: Memeorandum, here.