You Can Have a Big Economy, or a Big Government – Not Both

You Can Have a Big Economy, or a Big Government – Not Both
April 10, 2013

Seton Motley

Seton Motley is the president of Less Government, a DC-based non-profit organization dedicated to... (read full bio)

President Barack Obama has for five-plus years said and done two contradictory things regarding the United States’ economy.

1)  He has repeatedly said that he wants the private sector to recover – and indeed thrive.

2)  He has repeatedly, dramatically grown government – in terms of spendinglaws, regulations and taxes.  And rigidly insists that he be allowed to continue to do all of it.

But a Big Economy and a Big Government are mutually exclusive.

The wasteful federal government creates zero wealth.  Every penny it spends is at the expense of the productive private sector.  The former can only spend what it first takes from the latter – via taxation, or borrowing.

The more government taxes and borrows, the more limited the private sector is in its attempts to grow.  And expand the economy, hire people – and pay more taxes.

And the more time businesses spend complying with laws and regulations – including learning new ones – the less time they have to try to grow, expand the economy, hire people – and ultimately pay more taxes.

The wasteful federal government is draining the productive private sector of operational capital – and drawing its time and attention away from more worthwhile activities.

Imagine a tick that – in addition to bleeding the deer – can tell its host where, when and how it can move.

And the concern for an activist state continuing its over-activity freezes the private sector in amber – afraid to move, in dread anticipation of the next government anvil to fall.

So does President Obama want a Big Economy – or a Big Government?  The answer is best embodied in what he has done to the Internet.

 Existing law prior to the Obama Administration left the Internet pretty much alone.  As always happens when the government removes itself, the Web has rapidly grown into a free speech-free market Xanadu.

Technology Sector Found to Be Growing Faster Than Rest of US Economy

 Then came President Obama.  Who – despite the legal proscriptions and without any Congressional authority to do so – unilaterally imposed a host of new Web regulations.

The biggest being Network Neutrality – which places the government in charge of the entire Internet backbone.

Net Neutrality could lead to the loss of 1.5 million private sector jobs.  It will raise the cost for each and every consumer by about $55 a month.  Because it will raise Internet Service Providers (ISPs)’s costs by $20 to $40 billion per year.

It is egregiously damaging to continued investment – meaning the Web will slowly decay and deteriorate, rather than continue to rapidly improve and grow.

 Not satisfied with that destruction, the Administration also imposed data roaming regulations.  Which require the companies who spend the tens of billions of dollars necessary to build their wireless networks to rent them to those that don’t.

 Which raises a question: Why would any company spend said tens of billions of dollars, when they can just wait around for someone else to do it and then have the government force them to share?

Which raises a problem: If everyone is sitting around waiting for everyone else to build said networks, there’s a whole lot of nothing going on.

The Administration has done even more to derail the Tech sector – but you get the gist.

So too do you get that President Obama much prefers a Big Government to a Big Economy.

Because with the Internet, he inherited the latter – and has time and again insisted on imposing upon it the former.

[First Published at Red State]

Seton Motley

Seton Motley is the president of Less Government, a DC-based non-profit organization dedicated to... (read full bio)