“Something for nothing” mentality won’t stimulate the economy

Having been occupied in preparation for testifying before the Health and Human Services Committee on the economic impact of Medicaid expansion, I hadn’t had a chance to comment on another hare-brained “stimulus” scheme proposed by Nick Estes, formerly of NM Voices for Children (and a former debate opponent).

Estes, writing in the Albuquerque Journal on Sunday argued that the “Federal Reserve should create new money and transfer it to the government’s spending account. The government can then spend the money…without new debt.”

This “something for nothing” mentality has always puzzled me. It is quite similar to the reaction to my testimony from the mostly liberal legislators in Santa Fe who were eager to get their hands on the “free” money coming to New Mexico due to Medicaid expansion.

I’m not sure how the government “printing” money is going to generate real prosperity, nor do I understand how expanding an ill-conceived welfare program is going to “stimulate” the economy even if New Mexico is able to temporarily loot the other 49 states.

This “something for nothing” mentality is closely-related to the entitlement mentality so rampant on college campuses these days. But the entitlement mentality didn’t begin on modern college campuses. These emotional children learned to expect something for nothing from their parents and grandparents at least as far back as the advent of Social Security. That program’s first recipient Ida Mae Fuller paid just $25.75 into the system, but received $22,888.92 in benefits.