Opinion

Why Subsidies are Theft

We hear that “taxation is theft,” and much of it is, but it’s also true that a subsidy is theft. The Affordable Care Act is attractive to people because it offers “subsidies” to millions of people who cannot afford healthcare. What is a subsidy? It’s someone else’s money.

By the way, it’s not just healthcare that’s being subsidized. Subsidies are big business. They are used to buy votes and protect industries from competition. Try to stop farm subsidies. Green energy. Oil. Education.

Governments don’t have money unless they take it from people or create it out of thin air. Theft is involved if the money that’s taken in taxes is given to people who did not earn it.

In a similar way, creating money out of thin air is also theft since it dilutes the value of money already in circulation. Imagine a wine company diluting its product with water and keeping the price the same. By any standard, this would be considered immoral and criminal. The Bible spoke specifically to the issue: “Your silver has become dross, your drink diluted with water” (Isa. 1:22).

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The same is true of our money that was once gold and silver. We carried paper money around that represented the amount of gold and silver that was available. Gold or silver coins had to be paid “to the bearer on demand.” Gold and silver were money. The certificates acted as money as long as those holding them could redeem them for real silver and gold.

Up until 1963, our coinage was actual silver for dimes, quarters, half-dollars, and dollars. Today, our coins are made from cheap metals. The penny may be worth more than a dime since it’s still mostly copper.

When we got off the gold standard, it was an inflationary free-for-all. Our government could spend, spend, spend simply by printing money. There was nothing to stop it since gold and silver were no longer a brake on spending.

The government has been stealing from us for decades by diluting the value of our money with every new dollar printed and digit added in some Federal Reserve computer.

Many people will counter that health insurance is too expensive for some people. It is. Because of this, some people can’t afford the high cost of insurance. I agree. Therefore, we must empower the government to subsidize the cost. What is the source of the subsidy? Where does the money come from to fund the subsidy? The government! But the government doesn’t have any money.

Here’s the question: Is it moral for the government to take money from some people and give it to other people who did not earn it for even the best of reasons?

Let’s say someone in your neighborhood needs medical care but does not have enough money to pay for that care. Would it be OK for the members of that person’s family to steal money from their neighbors to pay for the medical needs? Most people would say no. What if the needy family convinces some other neighbors to steal from the more prosperous neighbors to pay for the medical needs of the family? Again, most people would say no.

How about the neighbors voting to empower the government to do the stealing? This is what is happening in our nation today. Millions of people believe they are owed a subsidy for this or that (Republicans and Democrats alike), and they believe it is right to empower the State to take money from some people so it can be given to other people.

Before long, there won’t be enough money to take since the subsidies will outstrip the demand.

Creating a new entitlement program is not the way to fix our healthcare system. Getting the government out is the first step. No subsidies and lots of competition. It’s worked for every other industry, from cars, boats, and planes to computers and the telephone. Will there be people who can’t afford healthcare? Yes. Better to deal with that single problem than mandate a one-size-fits all controlled from the center system.

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