Government Spending

Reason Writers on Stossel: Matt Welch Talks Budget-Cutting and the State of the Union


On Thursday, Jan. 27, Reason Editor in Chief Matt Welch appeared on Stossel to talk about the political class' unseriousness about the only issue that maters, and to suggest eliminating the Departments of Agriculture and Homeland Security. Watch below:

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  1. I could really support this show if I didn’t find Stossel’s rhetorical style extremely annoying and childish.

    1. You’re not alone

    2. You’re not alone

    3. Yeah, but that might be its most promising trait. Most of the population have probably a six-year-old’s understanding of economics. (I’m assuming a six-year-old who has been brain-washed with demand obsession and make-work schemes.)

  2. Thank God for tang!

  3. Matt, look at the other collars on the show, they are crisp-looking, and lay flat. Yours is curled like a six year old girl’s pigtails. Your hair looks decent but I have no doubt you are color blind. You need to bring your jackets with you when you shop for a tie. Your french hand-waving is less distracting, and I noticed the cameraman shot you from the back to give that jerking you do context. When you sit at a table, and they shoot chest-up you look like your jerking off!

    1. I laughed quite a bit at this post. I’m most impressed with Matt’s gigantic tie knot.

      1. He has to hide hide his stash somewhere!

    2. Maybe he should try to shoot for a Rivers Cuomo thing. Although that isn’t terribly specific.

  4. Matt you’ll have to do alot better. I know you want me.

    Read my blog.

    1. ya cause I LOVE a man who can’t dress himself!

      1. Exactly, only when Matt dresses well can he enter my kosher dill factory.

        Read my blog.

        1. Helle, yes, I would fuck Matt over you (I’m bring him shopping first). In fact, to be specific, I’d fuck everyone including your mothers over you.

  5. We’re never gonna have budget solvency until we start finding ways to transfer wealth back to the middle class. With a huge proportion of the national wealth in the top 5%, it’s no wonder we can’t collect enough revenues. There really is no way around this.

    1. WTF, do you think before vomiting teh stoopid all over the place?

      Making the middle class richer wouldn’t increase revenue. If anything, the government gets more revenue from most of the money being pooled under high income tax rates, rather than dispersed among lower income tax rates.

      Anyway, we already know that taxes don’t have much affect on revenue. Real wealth will adjust itself to counterbalance an increase or decrease in tax rates. The only way the government can directly reduce the deficit is by decreasing spending.

      1. “The only way the government can directly reduce the deficit is by decreasing spending.”

        All the services the government currently provides are essential to the survival of the country. There is simply no money that can be cut, and that is a fact.

        The only way to reduce the deficit is to increase taxes. Objective fact.

        1. Ethanol subsidies? Corporate welfare? Defense spending? The War on Drugs.

          I could go on if you’d like.

          1. If Obama says they are necessary, then I trust him.

    2. And the assertion that we will never have budget solvency if we don’t redistribute wealth is completely wrong. The two have nothing to do with each other. The budget can be completely balanced with reasonable reforms and cuts. No tax increases or cuts to welfare are required, except for tying Medicare spending growth to GDP.

    3. You could tax the rich at 100%, even assuming you could actually collect, and it wouldn’t even make a small dent in the deficit, not to mention the outstanding federal debt.

      Class war crapola isn’t going to fix this problem.

      The only solution is to drastically slash all elements of the federal government, including entitlements. Since political considerations make that next to impossible, our country will likely default in a matter of years, and our currency will become paperweights and toilet paper with fancy designs.

      1. You seem to have missed my point. I don’t want to tax the rich exorbitantly (though they could stand to have slightly higher rates). I want the middle class to be more robust so there are more people paying more taxes.

        Wealth concentration at the top is a recipe for disaster any way you slice it, and we have been heading evermore in that direction.

        Interestingly, as the rich have been getting richer and corporate profits are up, there don’t seem to be many jobs being created as a result. Guess supply-siders were wrong?

        1. Tony, how will taking money away from the rich to give to the middle class translate into more taxes?

          This fixation on wealth distribution is a complete non-sequitur, a distraction from the real issue, which is that the government needs to spend within its revenue, whatever that revenue happens to be.

          1. Isn’t that convenient for those of you who favor any and all tax cuts, but never a tax hike, ever.

            This country easily has a high enough GDP to fund the government. There just aren’t enough tax revenues being collected. The rich, who have most of the money, are paying the lowest rates practically ever, and we have 10% unemployment, meaning a lot of people aren’t paying hardly any taxes compared to what they could be if they had some discretionary money. The distribution of wealth is central to all of this. Fix unemployment and wealth concentration, and you fix the deficit. It does not work the other way around, and in fact trying to fix the deficit with spending cuts when unemployment is high is counterproductive.

            1. Isn’t the truth inconvenient for you?

              Look nothing you said is a response to my points. When the rich had a lower proportion of the wealth AND higher tax rates AND unemployment was low, our tax revenue/GDP was LOWER than what it is today. Both the data and economic logic are on my side on this one. All your hand waving about wealth distribution is completely futile.

        2. I mean it’s very clear that wealth distribution has no real effect on revenue. In the 70+ years revenue hasn’t exceeded 20.6% of GDP, wealth distribution has fluctuated greatly.

          1. Yes government revenue goes up pretty much in line with the GDP going up. What makes the GDP go up? More money in rich people’s mattresses?

            1. No, more money in on rich people’s asset sheets in the form of factories and shit.

              1. Uh huh. So corporate profits are up and unemployment is…up…because?

            2. Again, you didn’t respond to my point at all. You said that if wealth distribution was more even, revenue would go increase. The data shows that this isn’t true.

            3. Tony appears to believe that wealth is created through magic. It’s simply a matter of how you distribute all that manna falling from the sky.

              Wherever rich people choose to direct their income helps generate more wealth. If they put it back into their businesses, it directly creates more jobs/goods/services. If they put it in the bank or the stock market, it helps create those same things indirectly. If they blow it all on hookers and champagne, it goes to the providers of those products & services, and then on down to the purveyers of the goods/services consumed by hookers and champagne salemen.

              The *only* reason rich folks (or anyone) would put money in the mattress is if they think it is going to be stolen. By the government, for example.

              1. This is not an exercise in hand-waving theory. It is simply fact that money sent to non-rich people is more economically stimulative than that sent to rich people. Not that it’s not manifestly obvious. Rich people have the luxury of sticking some in their mattress where it does nothing for the economy.

                1. It’s simply a fact in Tony Land, not in reality.

    4. >We’re never gonna have budget solvency until we start finding ways to transfer wealth

      No, MOTHER FUCKER, we won’t have a healthy economy until shitheads like you give up your ideas of robbing Peter to pay Paul and calling it “wealth transfer”.

      Income belongs to the people who earn it. If you don’t earn it, it’s NOT YOURS.

      Want the middle class to have more money? Then get your goddamned government out of our way and let us keep what we earn, you pig-ignorant asshole.


      1. What is with you people and your unfounded assumption that the current distribution of wealth is the product of a free market. Ever occur to you that it’s government policy that has resulted in increasing wealth concentration at the top? It can’t be because the wealthy have been working 50 times harder than they were in the past, or that the middle class has become that much lazier.

        1. “Ever occur to you that it’s government policy that has resulted in increasing wealth concentration at the top?”

          Yes. I think thats a big point Libertarians frequently make. We just focus on different policies than you.

          Like: regulations that kill small business, competition, incentives and innovation, business taxes that raise prices, inflation caused by the Federal Reserve(the most insidious of them all), continuing to create dependency schemes that keep poorer people from climbing up the “economic ladder,” and continuing to waist the fruits of everyones labor and stupid over seas wars and drug wars.

          At least, this is what I think.

  6. The beauty of it is that justice has finally rang…
    All the people stupid enough to think their house is an ATM are underwater.

    People stupid enough to go 10’s of thousands into debt for a B.A. in philosophy get to think deep thoughts about unemployment.

    The geniuses in the Finance Industry are watching their titans come to Death’s Door and with it any semblence of power and prestige that was once associated w/ high finance.

    The Local and State Employers are going to end up with a big fat goose egg for attempting to bankrupt the citizenry with their ever greedy compensation demands.

    The Greatest Generation spends their days in agony . Content to sell their souls to uncle sam and watch poorly written daytime tv while the checks came in the mail. Now they are force fed medication and humiliated, left in their feces and subject to the very worst of medical care via the retirement homes. Paid by the courtesy of uncle sam the most.

    And the Boomers, the most spoiled generation of all, pay the biggest price. They’ve lost 40 years of their lives to a system in which , “We can guarantee the money we can’t guarantee the purchasing power of it.” Having worked all your life just know the checks and the promises are but dust.

    1. When you put it that way, it almost makes me feel a little better.

  7. WFT, Matt? Paul Ryan has the “most serious plan”? You know full well that Ryan’s just another Republicrat hack, and the only serious plan out there is the one the Rand Paul just put out.


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