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1. The premise of this cartoon is as bizarre as it is common: any promise that a gov't investment could "pay for itself" must be irresponsible liberal silliness.
2. Decades of RW propaganda have somehow given people the impression that when gov't spends money, it might as well just be lighting the money on fire. It vaporizes, producing nothing, and thus some other money must be raised through taxes to replace it.
3. If you claim that gov't is *investing* the money, which will produce benefits (economic growth, better health, a stable f'ing climate) that well exceed the cost of investment -- i.e., "pay for itself" -- you're dismissed as some sort of dreamy hippie.
4. That kind of thinking has been reinforced so thoroughly by the RW that it has sunk down into the "common sense" of ordinary people. The notion that it's illegitimate for gov't to "spend more than it takes in" is something I hear from normals all the time.
5. It's truly bizarre. Businesses borrow money to make investments all the time, and the investments lead to growth -- they "pay for themselves." Families do it, institutions do it. It's not some sneaky trick or "free lunch," it's just ... normal. Gov'ts are not different.
6. The limits of investment are not defined by cash-on-hand -- not for business, not for families, not for gov't. That would be an utterly bizarre approach & rule out pretty much any growth. The limits are defined by the cost of capital and the speed of return.
7. As it happens, national gov'ts are uniquely positioned to access cheap capital & to make patient, long-term investments. Collectively, national gov'ts are *exactly the right vehicle for investment*. The fact that cons have convinced people otherwise is a real propaganda coup.
8. Anyway, there's my Sunday morning rant. Capital is cheap & the country faces enormous problems -- now is exactly the time to invest shitloads of money in the people & tech we need. That's not some hippie-dippie dream, it's the only way the country has ever prospered. </fin>
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