Saturday, November 23, 2013

Democratic Party vs Republican Tea Party: Who Wins the Common Sense/History War?

More sloganeering and more austerity: The idea that the right wing is all about small government, is nothing more than a marketing campaign of big government authoritarians seeking one party rule. They've tethered "freedom" to the ridiculous, like buying Big Gulps, junk insurance policies, scaring people with open carry weapons, and voting regulations the size of a phone book that'll double in size each and every year. 

But as we've seen from our recent past, conservatism not only doesn't work, it's a crutch for a generation of insecure adults acting like spoiled children. But that's how I would describe it. The following is a more wonkish analysis that hits the mark. Try this one on for size:
WaPo: Conservatives are trying out a new slogan to influence the ongoing budget negotiations: “Spend One Dollar Less.” As reported by National Review’s Jonathan Strong, twenty major conservative leaders all signed a letter stating that “If Washington wants to take on more debt… isn’t it fair that they at least be forced to spend One Dollar Less next year than they’re spending this year?”
But guess what, it doesn't make much sense. It’s pure ideology:
It’s worth noting to gauge the size of government spending you need to reference the actual size of the economy. Every year there is some amount of growth and inflation in the economy … when actually being analyzed, are usually conveyed as a percentage of GDP. The government provides services … as the country grows in population the government should also expand to keep the level of services constant. The U.S. population has increased, with 2.25 million new people in 2011.

Over the next decade the federal government is expected spend about 22 percent of GDP. Should that number grow or shrink as we get richer as a country? This is a fundamental difference between liberals and conservatives.

Democratic Plan: As the sociologist Lane Kenworthy, author of the forthcoming Social Democratic America, notes, it’s a historical fact that as countries have grown richer, they have spent more on social insurance. As we become richer we value security and insurance more and we are willing to spend more on it. We do this as individuals, and we do this as a country as well. Insurance mitigates against bad luck, including the bad luck of being born in poverty.

Conservatives would counter that, as we grow richer, there are more opportunities to provide security privately, without the use of government.
We already know how things have played out so...:
The last decade hasn't been too kind to the latter vision of how prosperity will evolve. The serious market income gains have been concentrated in the top 1 percent of Americans, who in turn use it to fuel luxury spending competitions rather than run private welfare states. As MSNBC’s Ned Resnikoff reports, private food banks are terrified of the sequester (which cut The Emergency Food Assistance Program that helps food banks) and recent food stamp cuts, because they can’t offset that austerity with private charity. Economic insecurity has increased … Any sensible politics that evolve out of this situation will involve government spending to increase with the times.

No comments: