Why are we in debt?
- We can pay a man to choose to live as an adult baby, but we can’t keep packs of wild dogs from terrorizing the streets of St. Louis.
- We can pay for the California Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings, and Thermal Insulation but must cut services to disabled adults.
- We can spend over $3 million to facilitate the Occupy Wall Street protesters while 1,000 people are forced to live in the tunnels beneath Las Vegas.
- San Francisco can spend nearly $700,000 to build a ten foot wheelchair ramp but can’t keep the courts open.
Perhaps these aren’t the best examples – some of these absurd expenditures are chump change in the grand scheme of things. But they add up. I’m reminded of a quotation by the late, great Milton Friedman:
“When a man spends his own money to buy something for himself, he is very careful about how much he spends and how he spends it. When a man spends his own money to buy something for someone else, he is still very careful about how much he spends, but somewhat less what he spends it on. When a man spends someone else’s money to buy something for himself, he is very careful about what he buys, but doesn’t care at all how much he spends. And when a man spends someone else’s money on someone else, he doesn’t care how much he spends or what he spends it on. And that’s government for you.”