Negative interest rates? Forget it. Try this

It's amazing to see the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank continue to contort themselves with rate cuts, asset purchases, and all kinds of fancy programs in hopes of stimulating our economies.

Europe went so far as to take interest rates into negative territory — the first time ever a major global central bank has done that. Here in America we haven't gone that far, but certainly all the years and incarnations of quantitative easing have been almost as drastic.

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All these contortions, trial balloons, and perpetual monetary tinkering are just painful to watch, because at the same time the EU and Washington stubbornly refuse to do what will really spur growth.

That would be cutting the high tax rates and burdensome regulations that make creating new jobs and businesses much too hard no matter how easy the credit is from the banks.

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To be fair, Mario Draghi, Janet Yellen, et al, don't have the authority to cut taxes and regulations, but from all accounts they wouldn't want to anyway.

The worse news is that cutting taxes and regulations are pretty much a non-starter for the elected leaders on both continents who actually do have the power to make it happen.

But power is what it's all about. And it's the statist thirst for more and more power that's really keeping us from the economic growth we need.

Think about it: Economic stimulus policies that come from central banks, whether they work or not, increase the government's power. Cutting taxes and rules puts more of the power in the hands of the people.

Guess which choice the bureaucrats, politicians, and statist central bankers prefer?

It's not even so much a Right vs. Left argument anymore. Supposedly conservative politicians, even as they sometimes cut taxes, also push for government-power-growing stimulus policies that reduce the power of the people to chart their own economic course.

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Of course, we have had some elected leaders who were willing to abdicate some of their own power in favor of liberty. Ronald Reagan did that in 1981, John F. Kennedy in 1962 and even some Europeans like former French President Nicolas Sarkozy pushed for tax cuts just seven years ago.

But those days seem long gone. Calling for tax cuts now are a non-starter in a world obsessed with non-sequitur arguments about "income inequality" and other pseudo-socialist propaganda masquerading as something called "Social Justice."

You'll notice that the people complaining the loudest about income inequality, like technocrat economist Thomas Pikkety, also happen to be statists who use this supposed crisis as an excuse to call for yet more taxes, regulations and statist power.

The cold, hard facts are that trickle-down policies that hand over more freedom to the people who already exhibit economic success are the only policies that have a demonstrated history of getting more wealth and success to others.

Yes, cutting taxes and regulations will also make the rich richer, but as the French say: "c'est la vie."

And there's a bigger issue at stake than just the threat of European deflation and more recessions here in America — liberty.

I don't know what's more disturbing, the fact that the Fed's and ECB's policies haven't been all that effective or the weird reality that has made unelected people like Draghi, Bernanke, and Yellen celebrities because of the increased power they yield in supposedly democratic societies.

These central bankers are not necessarily bad people, but they don't have to be accountable to the people. And that's a recipe for disaster.

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The good news is that the people of Europe and the United States aren't giving up their quest for liberty just yet. While the statists and elite media types insist the recent EU parliamentary elections were dominated by "Far Right" parties, the truth is the victories by the UKIP and other parties like it were a strong blow for taking at least some power away from the unelected EU gang.

And while our elitist mainstream news media and academic types continue to insist the Tea Party is in some kind of death throes, the truth is even as many new Tea Party candidates fail at the polls, their policies are making more and more headway into mainstream GOP political campaigns.

The problem on both U.S. and European shores isn't the people, it's the politicians and technocrats who seem to loathe and fear the will of the people like never before.

Margaret Thatcher, who compared to today's European leaders seems like some kind of mythological hero, once said: "There can be no liberty without economic liberty." Perhaps she was just too foolish to think that her political descendants would even care about liberty at all.

Commentary by Jake Novak, supervising producer of "Street Signs." Follow him on Twitter @jakejakeny.