One week before the presidential election, it passed a new $1.8 billion disaster bill to assist farmers hurt by bad weather. Two others followed in subsequent years, totaling more than $6 billion. Today, after a searing drought in the Plains, farm-state legislators are pushing for billions more in aid.
The result is that farmers often get paid twice by the government for the same disaster, once in subsidized insurance and then again in disaster assistance, a legal but controversial form of double-dipping, a Washington Post investigation found. Together, the programs have cost taxpayers nearly $24 billion since 2000.
Some politicians talk as though they respect capitalism. They claim to reject taxing people just to give that money to others. Yet they continually increase the debt (taxing our children and grandchildren) and make payments to corporations, farmers and others for no reasonable purpose, other than buying votes. In addition to payments to farmers the government pays those who build million dollar beach house when the predictable storm knocks them down. No rational capitalist or economist would support such behavior (a political consultant might if when voters reward those that buy votes with taxpayer money, which seems to be the case now).
Do you think the politicians decide that the market should punish those that made bad decision and didn’t insure themselves? Nope, they take money from your children and grandchildren and give it to those that took risks without insuring them (often because they choose to do very risky things that would cost a great deal to insure – building expensive houses where they will undoubtably be knocked down for example). You might think those politicians would at least stop spending money they don’t have (remember the huge annual deficits) to pay people for losses that the government subsidized them to insure themselves against – but you would be wrong.
If the public wants politicians to support capitalism and not the current taxpayer subsidies to bad capitalists (those that make bad economic decisions) they need to vote out politicians that buy votes with subsidies to those that make bad economic gambles and then want the government to pay if things go poorly.
So choose to build house where they will be washed away and the government pays you when it is. Choose to farm bad locations and when it doesn’t work the government will pay you. I’m scared that the government might, but do you think if I just have a really dumb business idea and it doesn’t work I can ask the government to pay because my idea to save money on my warehouse by not having a roof resulted in all the goods being ruined when it rained? I hope they wouldn’t but given what they do now it is hard to say for sure that they wouldn’t.
American voters choosing to elect those that don’t care about economics (those that choose to tax children and grandchildren to buy votes today) is why the federal debt is so large. It is not because of politicians, but because of the actions voters choose to reward. If the voters choose to stop rewarding those who buy votes by raising taxes on children and grandchildren then the behavior would change. If not, we have to rely on getting a majority of politicians that choose to act in the best long term interest of the country out of duty or a sense of what is right: past experience shows this is unlikely.