Tuesday, August 9, 2011

They Just Don't get It

I'm not sure why. Perhaps the liberal press has successfully infected the minds of conservatives, or perhaps those fallen Democrat conservatives can't quite give up some fictional liberal assumptions. Two days in a row on "The Five," a Fox News opinion program at 5 o'clock, 4 conservatives and one liberal agreed on the desirability of government programs which are in direct contradiction to conservative philosophy.

The first was a bill introduced in congress which would pay employers $2,400 to hire veterans. This was to "remedy" the fact that unemployment among returning veterans is 13%, versus 9% among all workers. The next day a "remedy" to the nations employment problems, proposed by one of the hosts and endorsed by all 5 of them, was to allow companies with money overseas (money they earned overseas and paid jurisdictional taxes there) to repatriate the money tax free, provided they spent 25% of it on job creation. Current tax law requires they pay a corporate tax (35% max) if they bring the money back.

So let me get it straight. Veteran employment can be controlled by government intervention. Ummm... I think we tried that and the results were not so good. Obviously everyone wants to find jobs for vets. Obviously all Americans owe them a huge debt of gratitude. But if they have not been rewarded enough (count me among those that think they have been vastly underpaid and under appreciated), then take that $2,400 and use it to pay them more. Don't interfere in the free market. Government should never be in that business. The results of such interference (aka targeted results) always has unintended consequences, most of which are bad. If it is OK to interfere with the market place when it benefits one of my causes, then it is OK when it promotes liberal ones.

The same applies with the corporate tax holiday. Let the companies bring the money back tax free, period. That is a tax reduction consistent with conservative philosophy. But to attach a requirement that the government mandate certain uses is right from the liberal playbook. The hubris that central planners can allocate resources better than the market is shocking, especially when advocated by conservatives. No battleground success will win the war until the troops understand what they are fighting for.    

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