John Stossel: Liberty, equality, baloney
• NASCAR got $70 million for new racetracks.
• Hollywood film producers got a $430 million tax break.
When America's going broke, how do moviemakers get a special break? By lobbying for it. Movies are a sexy business, so 42 states offer film producers "incentives" to film there. (State legislatures are as shortsighted as Congress).
Even the crusade to save the earth is captured by the "special" people. Subsidies for "green energy" were supposed to go to the best ideas. Yet somehow your money went to companies like Solyndra, whose biggest shareholder just happened to be an Obama backer who bundled money for the President.
On my TV show this week, progressive commentator Ellis Henican says this cronyism is "inevitable" and doesn't really bother him: "If we want roads and bridges and prisons and a military and a safety net, someone somewhere is going to benefit from that. But you can't use that as an excuse to not do important things for our society."
Politicians doling out favors quietly shift where society's resources flow, who gets employed, what ideas are pursued.
It distorts the economy and the culture — and it turns us into a nation of favor-seekers instead of creators and producers.
The privileged win. The people lose.
John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed."
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