Borrowing from your children?
Unfortunately your friend has a habit of spending more than he makes, and has now spent everything his parents left him. But now that he's spent all his inheritance and maxed out his credit cards, rather than finally starting to live within his means he's decided to "appropriate" the college funds his parents set up for their grandchildren.
(That word "appropriate" as a verb is SO much better-sounding than "take"--or even "redistribute," eh?)
One day your friend asks you what you think about this strategy. Do you say
- "Hey, that cash is just as much yours as your kids', so go for it!"
- "That's unconscionable--you're taking something you have no right to take;" or
- "You should run for national office."
This country's politicians have amassed a $16 Trillion debt, largely by voting for programs that are fiscally unsound. IF anyone ever intended that this borrowed money would have to be repaid, the payers would be our children and grandchildren.
Literally, we're spending our kids' money. And since they didn't get to vote on that decision, this strikes me as unconscionable.
The problem has two causes: First, politicians know that giving things to voters wins them lots of votes--and since the first law of politicians is to get re-elected, it can scarcely come as a surprise that pols vote to do that.
Fortunately our Constitution--the magnificently-crafted blueprint for our nation--explicitly limited the powers of the federal gummint, and for about 110 years that amazing document kept the corrupt pols in check.
Sadly, around 1900 "our" (ha!) pols--both president and a majority of congresswhores--began to brazenly--openly, laughingly--ignore the limitations on government power specified in the Constitution. Once they saw they could get away with that there were no more restraints on their ability to have government give away money and other benefits to voters--and the ride toward the fiscal cliff accelerated.
And it's not just Dems; Republican pols have gone along with this same strategy, even if they haven't been as audacious or aggressive about it as their Dem counterparts.
Frankly I doubt that any party can succeed in rolling back the illegitimate power that's been grabbed by the president and congress over the last century. But if it *can* be rolled back, I'm pretty sure it won't be the Dems doing it.
At least it won't be done by the Dems we see today.