washingtonpost.com
Geithner's Magic Tricks

By Grover G. Norquist
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 12:58 PM

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says he has a "financial stability plan."

He has not. He has brought back an old trick: alchemy. The ability to turn lead into gold, spin straw into silver.

The only difference between Geithner's plan and the Pelosi-Reid spend-fest is that the House speaker and Senate majority leader are going to make us rich by spending our money, and Geithner is going to make us rich by lending/giving our money to other people.

A dollar owned by you will transfer into the hands of Mr. Geithner and be "invested" by politicians. Geithner asserts that this will create more jobs and higher income than had you invested your own dollar. Same dollar. But, passed through the government's magic black box, it becomes a stimulus.

The idea that government can spend your money better than you can suggests a refusal to learn from history. Take, for example, the Ponzi scheme of Social Security and Medicare, with trillions in unfunded liabilities, or the unfunded liabilities of federal, state and local governments' commitments on pensions and health care. Heck, the feds cannot build a road without a cost overrun -- not exactly a new technology.

There was a world where a claim like Geithner's was honored and believed. It collapsed on Dec. 31, 1991, when the Soviet Empire admitted this all doesn't work.

The writer is president of Americans for Tax Reform.

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