Redistributing wealth … to the politically connected

Recent John Locke Foundation Headliner Timothy P. Carney explains in a Washington Examiner “Beltway Confidential” blog entry one of the consequences of government growth: more wealth for the well-connected.

Increasing government power gives more influence to the politically connected, which is often whoever can hire up the most ex-Senators and cabinet members-turned lobbyists. That’s never Mom n Pop.

George Will’s latest column waxes eloquently on this theme. ,,,

… Will mentions sugar subsidies, but he could have mentioned the ethanol mandate benefitting the likes of Archer Daniels Midland, or the Export-Import Bank benefitting the likes of Boing, or green loan guarantees subsidizing Solyndra, or nuclear loan guarantees benefitting Southern Company, or wind-mill tax credits benefitting the likes of General Electric, or tax credits and eminent domain benefitting developers, and I could go on….

But Will also makes an important point often overlooked:

Not only does redistributionist government direct wealth upward; in asserting a right to do so, it siphons power into itself.

Increasing government power, increasing the influence of lobbyists, increasing business dependence on government — all of these things benefit lawmakers in their efforts to win reelection and get rich.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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