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The Symptoms of Big Government

IF you are any kind of conservative or libertarian you probably want to end deficit spending.  You'd like to end the pay-as-you-go entitlement programs that politicians voted for a generation ago and that we have to pay for.  And you'd like to end the Federal Reserve Board's policy of stimulating the economy with cheap money to create jobs.

I'm all in favor of balancing the budget -- but not by increasing taxes.  I'm in favor of putting the obligations of the entitlement programs front and center -- but not if it means increasing payroll taxes on the American worker.

And I froth and the mouth about the Keynesian consensus that the Fed can and should goose the economy to stimulate employment.  But I look at the Fed as a relief pitcher that the government calls in when it's got the economy in a jam with all the bases loaded.  There is no substitute under the present political economy for a central bank as the lender of last resort to lend money during a liquidity crisis.

The real problem is that we get liquidity crises like the Crash of 2008 because of big government.  So long as government is goosing the housing market with loans to sub-prime borrowers we are going to need the Fed to come and clean up the mess while continuing to pay a trillion a year in pensions and a trillion a year in health care.  And so long as we have wars we are going to need the Fed to help the government finance the war.

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Christopher Chantrill Follow chrischantrill on Twitter

Christopher Chantrill is a writer and conservative, and author of Road to the Middle Class. He runs, the go-to resource for government finance data, is a frequent contributor to the American Thinker, and blogs regularly at He lives in Seattle, Washington ...

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