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View Full Version : UNTANGLING THE SPAGHETTI,Steyn on America



megimoo
08-11-2009, 05:58 PM
HAPPY WARRIOR
from National Review

What’s the end-game here? I suppose it’s conceivable that there are a few remaining suckers out there who still believe Barack Obama is the great post-partisan, fiscally responsible, pragmatic centrist he played so beguilingly just a year ago.

The New York Times’ David Brooks stuck it out longer than most: Only a few backs, he was giddy with excitement over the President’s “education” “reforms” (whatever they were). But now he says we’re in “the early stages of the liberal suicide march”.

For a famously moderate moderate, Mr Brooks seems to have gone from irrational optimism over the Democrats’ victory to irrational optimism over the Democrats’ impending downfall without the intervening stage of rational pessimism.

The end-game is very obvious. If you expand the bureaucratic class and you expand the dependent class, you can put together a permanent electoral majority. By “dependent”, I don’t mean merely welfare, although that’s a good illustration of the general principle.

In political terms, a welfare check is a twofer: you’re assuring the votes both of the welfare recipient and of the vast bureaucracy required to process his welfare. But extend that principle further, to the point where government intrudes into everything:

a vast population is receiving more from government (in the form of health care or education subventions) than it thinks it contributes, while another vast population is managing the ever expanding regulatory regime (a federal energy-efficiency code, a government health bureaucracy) and another vast population remains, nominally, in the private sector but, de facto, dependent on government patronage of one form or another

– say, the privately owned franchisee of a government automobile company, or the designated “community assistance” organization for helping poor families understand what programs they’re eligible for. Either way, what you get from government – whether in the form of a government paycheck, a government benefit or a government contract – is a central fact of your life.

A lot of the developed world has already gone quite a long way down this road. If you want to know what Obama’s pledge to “save or create” four million jobs would look like if the stimulus weren’t a total bust, consider what “good news” means in an Obama-sized state:

A couple of years back, I happened to catch an intriguing headline up north. “The Canadian economy is picking up steam,” reported the CBC. Statistics Canada had just announced that “the economy added 56,100 new jobs, two-thirds of them full time.

” That’s great news, isn’t it? Why, the old economy’s going gangbusters, stand well back.

http://www.steynonline.com/content/view/2341/26/