So writes Timothy Carney in this column. The budget the Senate Democrats have proposed lavishes money on some big businesses in the hopes that some of the money will find its way into the pockets of consumers.

I find Carney’s writing so valuable because he repeatedly blows the whistle on two great American myths, namely that the Republicans are the party of free enterprise and limited government (that’s how they pose, but for many it’s merely that) and that the Democrats are the party of “the little guy” (again, a pose that is belied by countless corporatist measures such as the crap in this budget bill).

In a free society (of which the US is barely one any more), wealth doesn’t “trickle” in any direction. It is earned by producing and selling to others who will pay in accordance with their valuation of what you’ve done. In a free economy, there are far more opportunities for people to earn than in a highly regulated socialistic/corporatist one. If politicians want to help poorer people, the right moves are toward economic liberalization, as the great reformers of the 19th century knew.