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HORIST: Free stuff is NOT free … not ever.

HORIST: Free stuff is NOT free … not ever.

Nobel Laureate Economist Milton Friedman (pictured) famously said that “there is no such thing as a free lunch.”  Apparently, the radical left-wingers who are steering the Democratic Party to the port side do not understand that – or they are hoping that there are enough ignorant voters who actually believe in the possibility of free lunches.

Shamefully misled by such diehard socialists as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, by such desperate for attention presidential candidates as uber liberal Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren or by such clueless political neophytes as New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, there does appear to be a rather large number of gullible voters – especially among the young who are being similarly misled in the ivy-covered towers of academia.

The commentary is dedicated to the “gullible.”

Let me state emphatically that the “no free lunch” admonition is true.  Nothing in life is free except freedom – and even that occasionally requires paying a heavy cost to defend it.

If you believe that government can provide you with free medical care, free education and free food, you need to explain who pays for all those freebies.  After all, doctors and nurses still need to be paid.  Hospitals need to pay for all that amazing diagnostic medical equipment.

And who pays for all those teachers and college professors and the upkeep on the ivy-covered buildings?   Who pays for all the free benefits of welfare – food, housing, childcare?

I could go on, but you get the point.  SOMEONE must pay for all that so-called free stuff.  And guess what, that someone is the American taxpayer.  Government pays for nothing – although we always say that this and that is provided by government.  But YOU are the source of the money that pays for the stuff government doles out.

Maybe you feel you are getting a freebie if you can go to school without paying.  But that comes out of your taxes.  And someone else is claiming free medical services for free – and you are paying for those services, too.  Even if you are not on welfare, you are paying for all that is provided to those who are.  And when you put all those freebies together, the working taxpayer is paying for all of it.  The money for the freebies comes out of your pocket – every penny to the point of trillions of dollars.

Hospitals can charge a lot of money because my Medicare covers most of the bill.  Medicare may be administered by the federal government, but it is not paid for by the federal government.  Not for a single blood test.  Not for open-heart surgery.  The government merely takes money from the public and redistributes it to create fake free services.

Now there are things that only government can do, and we the people allow for that.  We need to kick in for our mutual national defense.  We are willing to maintain a national highway system.  It is even appropriate that a nation as wealthy and a people as generous as Americans are more than willing to contribute to the welfare of those less fortunate – those who are permanently or temporarily incapable of making ends meet.

But like personal charity, we as a nation must live within our means.  I would love to offer a home to more children than I did, but I sadly could not afford to do so without destroying my own family’s ability to survive financially.  On a national scale, that is exactly what we are doing – and those ambitious for public office are selling socialism even as such programs as Medicare and Social Security are falling into insolvency.
Benjamin Franklin warned that, “When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.”  That is not a warning to be taken lightly because the Sanders, Warrens and Ocasio-Cortezes of the world are pinning their political hopes on convincing folks to vote themselves more and more benefits in the form of alleged freebies.  They are pandering to wishful thinking, political fiction and economic delusion to achieve power.

They call their policies – from free education to the Green New Deal – aspirational.  That means there is not a bit of sound economics or common sense in any of it.  “Aspirational” means by desire – wishful thinking.   It is Utopianism at its worst.  They have no way to pay for all those promises without tanking the American economy and destroying the wellbeing of the younger and future generations.

And ironically, it is the younger generation who are embracing policies detrimental to their own wellbeing.  They are being sold a seeming short-term benefit without seeing the long-term disaster.  Or maybe today’s Millennials are taking after their elders – taking whatever they desire and screw the unborn future generations.

Actually, when asked how they intend to pay for all those so-called freebies, they do have answers.  Dishonest ones.  They say they will tax the super-rich and corporations – the two enemies of big government socialism.   There is a problem, however.  If you confiscated all the money of the super-rich, it would fall far short of the money needed to pay for all that free stuff the radical left promises.

There is only one way to cover the cost, at least temporarily, and that is massive tax increases on the middle class – because there is where most of America’s wealth (jobs) is produced.

Then there is that old canard about taxing the corporation so that they pay “their fair share.”  That is economic nonsense.  Corporations do NOT pay taxes.  They only collect and transfer the money from the consumer to the government.  Every tax is computed into the cost of goods and services.  The consumer pays the tax.  No one gets a free lunch.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Chas

    Maybe today’s Millennials should be renamed the “Clueless Generation” instead.

  2. Philapeno Hiawatha Spartacus Jones

    My best retort to socialism is: “What happens when a socialist government fails? What is the fallback position for it’s citizenry? Where does one go for help when the all-powerful Oz has given up? What would be the plan then?”

  3. Carol


  4. Linde Barrera

    If corporations make millions in profits, why can’t they pay a fair percentage of those profits, say 10%-15%? There is nothing wrong with putting a modest tax on corporations! Additionally, there are several kinds of trusts and the heirs of any trust get protections that are not available to heirs of a plain old will. So Medicaid can touch what is left in a will to be reimbursed for home health aides, but cannot touch what is in a trust. Hmmm….Makes you wonder how “economically smart” and “fair minded” some of our dopey Congressman and US Senators are for creating laws that favor trusts.