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AP: Subsidies Are Used To Buy Votes — In India!

From an irony proof Associated Press:

Election season in India comes with freebies

By Ashok Sharma | February 12, 2014

NEW DELHI (AP) — Just before village council elections, Southern Tamil Nadu state Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha went all out to gain favor with rural voters. Schoolgirls received laptops. Farm workers got cows and goats. Homemakers were given spice grinders and fans. The price tag for the giveaway, which started in 2011 and continues today: 20 billion rupees ($322 million) in a state of about 70 million people.

Freebies are a fact of life in Indian politics, and items like livestock are only part of it. All three parties seen as the front-runners in upcoming elections have enticed voters with subsidies on electricity, cooking gas or grain.

Fortunately, such things would never happen here, in the good old US of A.

The largesse could give sputtering growth a short-term boost, but there are growing concerns that the subsidize-everything mentality they represent will damage government finances and the economy.

Nonsense. The news media and the rest of the Democrat Party and the ruling elite tell us practically every day that government spending is the mother’s milk of economic growth. And subsidies are the best government spending of all.

Growth is expected to be less than 5 percent in the 2013-14 fiscal year, far below the 8 percent rate the country averaged in the past 10 years…

Which is twice the average GDP of the US these days. Which is around 2.5%, at best.

India’s Election Commission said this month it plans to require political parties to explain how they will pay for any "welfare measures" announced in the run-up to the vote, to be held by May…

What insanity! Has their election commission gone mad?

Campaign-season goodies are a beloved tradition in India, a country of 1.2 billion people and the world’s biggest democracy.

They are a beloved tradition in our country too. Tammany Hall, the Daley Machine, the Obama administration. Heck, any government at any level that is run by Democrats.

Some 270 million people — nearly 22 percent of the population — live in poverty here, making giveaways particularly resonant for voters…

Which is exactly why it is so important for the Democrats to have people living in poverty in our country. Even if they have to import them via amnesty.

Last July, the Indian Supreme Court ruled the giveaways were not technically corrupt, but "distribution of freebies of any kind, undoubtedly, influences all people. It shakes the root of free and fair elections to a large degree."

Oh, come on.

But many voters welcome the giveaways as the cost of living skyrockets. "It is a good gesture!" said Soymyajit Singh, a 20-year-old university student who got a free laptop in October… The laptop swayed Singh’s vote. While his family staunchly supports the opposition… party, Singh says he will cast his ballot for [the party that gave him the laptop]…

Analysts say the giveaways may be a time-honored practice, but the government is hard pressed to pay for them. At the end of September 2013, India’s long-term external debt was $305.5 billion…

Only $305 billion, and some people are worried? What a laugh.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, February 12th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

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