My friend Jonathan Small of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs writes the following in response to the outcry resulting from a suggested cut to the budget of the State Arts Council and the “economic devastation” that would result:

Based on all the dubious economic impacts of taking families incomes from them and earmarking them through the Arts Council, policymakers should give all of the state’s $16.8 billion in spending to the Arts Council. Especially since we wouldn’t have a “creative workforce” unless government took people’s hard earned money from them and redistributed it. 

Isn’t it amazing how there is no negative impact to taking an individual’s or a family’s hard earned money from them, you know, because taxpayers don’t stimulate the economy until they have their money taken from them by government—but government expenditures yield economic multiplier returns of jackpot proportions.

Why let taxpayers have any money to begin with? 

This is Hayek’s “fatal conceit” and Bastiat’s reductio ad absurdum all rolled into one!  I have another idea, though.

Since corporate healthcare in Oklahoma and its sycophants claim that gigantic job creation will occur due to the Medicaid expansion our governor bravely rejected, why not give the big hospitals the entire state budget using the same logic?  Don’t Small’s comments reveal the true and self-serving nature these mind games represent?  Government and its various agencies create nothing, after all.  On the contrary, the state can only consume and destroy capital leeched from the private sector.  True wealth creation with its attendant jobs occurs only to the extent that government is denied money.  Small’s biting and insightful comments help put this in proper perspective, I think.

G. Keith Smith, M.D.