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Will we ever reject statism?

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By Jacob G. Hornberger
Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013

The fiscal-cliff deal shouldn't surprise anyone. A sufficient number of Republicans caved, enabling President Obama to bask in the glory of causing Republicans to vote for a massive tax increase.

What did the Republicans get in return with respect to federal spending?

Not one thing.

On the contrary, they agreed that the “cuts” in federal spending that were going to go into effect as part of the fiscal cliff would be suspended for at least the next two months.

Do remember that under the so-called fiscal cliff, there really isn't any reduction in federal spending at all. The fiscal-cliff “cut” is actually an increase in federal spending.

Why do they call it a “cut”? Because the increase in federal spending is not as much as federal officials had hoped for and planned for. That's what a “cut” in federal spending means in Washington.

That's what Republicans got for their cave-in. And whom did Republicans levy their massive tax increase on? Republicans joined with Democrats to plunder and loot “the rich.”

Feeling his oats, Obama has announced he has no intention of negotiating any spending decreases as part of the upcoming debt-ceiling deadline. What this demonstrates, of course, is the real battle for the direction of this country is between libertarians and statists, with the latter group consisting of conservatives and liberals.

Statists want to have the government continue spending ever-increasing amounts of money, no matter how much the government must tax, borrow and inflate. Statists say that's the key to economic prosperity.

Libertarians, on the other hand, say that ever-increasing spending, taxes and inflation are the key to economic bankruptcy.

In the next two months, as the debt ceiling is reached and that scary fiscal cliff is reached again, the statists will again be harping on the horrors of the “deficit” — the amount of money being spent in excess of tax revenues. It's one of their favorite sleights of hand, which they'll use to call for more tax increases to “close the deficit.”

But the “deficit” isn't the problem. The problem is that the government is spending too much.

It's time to embrace economic liberty and reject statism. That's the solution to the statist cancer that is destroying our nation's body politic.

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation (

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