Tuesday, October 05, 2010

So what would you do?

Whenever any government announces spending cuts, there are always those who are recipients of the money (that isn't their's) who claim it isn't fair that the state isn't taking quite so much money off of other people to give them some, and those who are on their side, constantly sniping about anytime the state does less.

Few governments cut spending while running surpluses, as it is only when years of past profligacy catch up that reality has to be faced, as it is in the UK.

However, "journalists" (I put inverted commas in place because so few of them understand making intelligent queries about what goes on or are capable of comparing current with historical events) rarely ask the two most important questions of such naysayers:

1. How would YOU cut spending or increase taxes? Who would lose out in your world? For example, if child benefit is to remain universal in the UK, what spending should be cut instead, or should the very people who currently receive child benefit pay more tax instead??

2. How much of your own money will you be using to compensate those who are losing out on the spending cut?

The typical answer to the first question is "I don't know". In other words, a mindless opposition to politicians who, to be fair, are simply trying to balance the books and reduce the rate of borrowing. The more philosophical ones of a leftwards bent would make a flippant comment about "the rich should pay more tax" (or bankers), or that defence spending (the left hates defence) should be cut.

The second question invariably draws a blank. Spend your own money helping the poor, or schools, or hospitals? Actually do something rather than call on government to force everyone else to do so?

No - it is the moral vacuum of too many of the left who have never really thought of voluntarily raising money or spending their own money to relieve poverty or keep open a school, hospital, library, art gallery or whatever it is they are so stouchly defending.

Whereas I simply think that if you can't be bothered contributing something substantial yourself then your advocacy for forcing others to do so, through the state, is morally bankrupt.

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