- The Washington Times - Monday, June 6, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Both parties of Congress and the Obama administration are laboring at length to reach a deal on federal spending before a debt ceiling is reached.

There is much debate over the best way to cut back on expenditures with the GOP slashing more than $6 trillion across a multiyear period under the plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan. The Ryan budget proposal would reform the existing Medicare program, opting instead to use a voucher system to be phased in later. No existing Medicare recipients would be impacted.

What none of the members of Congress or the Obama administration appear to be counting on is help from Adam Smith, the father of capitalism, who attributed great power to the “divine, invisible hand of self-interest” in leading to that which is best for society. At this juncture, Americans would benefit from any help they can get in cleaning up the fiscal disaster that some have blamed on unchecked financial and banking systems.

Nevertheless, American economic greatness has for more than 200 years been preserved by the market principles set forth in Smith’s 1776 book “The Wealth of Nations,” in which the foundation for market capitalism and free enterprise was articulated with great intelligence and wisdom. In all of our frenzied attempts to reach a consensus on these matters, let’s not forget that there is an invisible hand of self-interest that, if allowed to work, just might be the formula that will work.

BOB JACK

North Las Vegas

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