I’ve read Hazlitt’s aforementioned work. I found it informational and easily understandable.
I did have a general question. Hazlitt’s premise is that we have to look at that which is seen and that which is unseen. The government spends money on wars, bridges, government programs, etc. which is what is SEEN. It gets this money from extracting tax dollars from us (amongst other methods). The loss of purchasing power from the tax payer is that which is UNSEEN. Presumably, were we not parted of our dollars the taxpayer could have spent it much more judiciously.
The assumption is that had the government not spent our tax dollars on X, the taxpayer would retain those dollars and spend it on something of his choice. Does this only hold true when the government is running a balanced budget or a surplus? Meaning, right now if we were to end our wars and slash a bunch of government programs, would we be taxed less and have more purchasing power or would we be taxed the same and gain no purchasing power despite fewer government expenditures because the servicing and paying down of the debt still remains? Is this a question of policy or economics?