Monday, August 03, 2009

The problem with Obama is ... ~ By Henry Lamb

By Henry Lamb Posted: August 03, 2009 1:00 am Eastern © 2009 It is accurate, but not enough, to say that Obama is transforming the United States of America into a socialist nation. The term "socialist" no longer carries the fear-and-trembling reaction it evoked during the Cold War years. Since the "boomer" generation, the term has lost its meaning – and when the eloquent Obama pitches his socialist snake oil, the alleged cure sounds reasonable. It sounds reasonable, for example, to take the profit out of the college loan program. The government subsidizes and guarantees student loans already. Why not just make government loans directly to the students, cut out the middle-man – and the profits they make – and save all that money now going to the greedy shareholders. Think about it. In order to get the money needed to lend, private lenders ask ordinary citizens to invest in their company with a promise to the investor to pay a profitable return on his investment. On the other hand, government gets its money to lend by taking money from everyone in the form of taxes. A student may inquire among hundreds of lenders to find the best possible rate and repayment terms. If there is only one source for student loans, the lender may set the rate and the terms with no concern that a competing lender might provide a better deal. Private lenders couldn't care less what subjects a student might pursue; timely repayment is the only concern. Not so when the government is the only lender. At any time, the government could decide that there are enough nuclear engineers in the world and provide no loans to nuclear engineering applicants. The government could decide there are not enough teachers and choose to fund loans for teachers only. When the government controls the source of a commodity, the commodity users become little more than slaves. Moreover, when government controls the source of a commodity, there is absolutely no incentive to make efficient use of the commodity, but there is a strong incentive for bureaucratic corruption. When bureaucrats, who have no skin in the game, can dispense goodies – such as loans – with no risk to their own well-being – fraud, waste and abuse flourish. A private banker, whose paycheck literally depends upon making and collecting good loans, is sure to be much more vigilant in his decision making. Private lenders who make good loan decisions and earn a profit for their shareholders provide employment and incentive for more investment from their investors. Government lenders require tax dollars to pay employees, to fund loans, and to fund the inevitable fraud, waste and abuse that accompanies every government program. [CONTINUE READING]
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