Apr 28, 2014 … Tom Reed spent the last two weeks crisscrossing the eleven-county district holding roundtables, meeting with small businesses and wrapping up his 137th town hall. The consistent theme Reed heard during each conversation was the frustration taxpayers have with Washington’s ever-increasing spending …
Did Reed really hear that the electorate is concerned with “Washington’s ever increasing spending?” Probably not–there is much evidence that Reed only hears what he wants to hear.
Much political dogma is nonsense. Complaints about government spending are particularly insidious. Government spending is neither good or bad; the purpose matters. Many programs funded by government spending are necessary; others greatly benefit the public. When politicians decry spending as if it were never necessary no matter the purpose, they are talking nonsense.
Government spending helps offset private savings. Excessive savings take money from the economy promoting economic stagnation. Government spending on worthwhile programs counteracts this.
Discretionary spending can have a stabilizing effect on the economy. When unemployment rises, spending for unemployment compensation helps dampen recession and promote economic recovery.
The idea that private investment is good and public investment is bad is wrong–the economic impact of investment is the same no matter the source of the funds. The idea that government jobs aren’t real jobs is also wrong–work is work and pay is pay in both cases.