Hope & Fear
Democratic dominance is not the end of the world.
(American Consevative) -- By W. James Antle III
By the end of the year, the federal government may have totally restructured the American healthcare system. This health-insurance industry takeover may lead to widespread taxpayer subsidies for elective abortion. A new national energy tax may be imposed to reduce carbon emissions. The secret ballot for union organization may be effectively eliminated, swelling Big Labor’s ranks and coffers. Or maybe none of these things will have happened.
Hard as it may be to believe, that last prospect looks most likely. It is a real possibility that none of these major legislative items—all considered inevitable after the Democratic victories of 2006 and 2008—will be enacted by the end of year, or will they pass only in attenuated form. The election of Barack Obama and his party’s congressional supermajorities was supposed to signal that change had come. A year later, very little has changed.
This is no doubt disappointing to many of Obama’s supporters, for whom the biggest change might be watching their audacious hopes harden into cynicism. The administration’s inability to fulfill the wildest dreams of the Left is enraging many of the squabbling interest groups that comprise the Democratic Party, from pro-choice feminists, who balked at the anti-abortion Stupak amendment that was necessary to ram a healthcare bill through the House, to gay-rights groups, who have been told that their status in their party’s coalition remains “don’t ask, don’t tell.” But the persistence of the status quo should also be disillusioning for another group: conservatives who believe that the Republic cannot survive Republican electoral setbacks.
To hear that great red-state prophet Sean Hannity tell it, America stands at the precipice of socialism. But virtually all the socialism now stalking the land—bailouts for the automobile industry, the banks, homeowners, and various other politically favored groups—began under the Bush administration. So did the tidal wave of red ink ready to break over taxpayers’ heads. In eight short years, a budget surplus of $127 billion gave way to a $1.2 trillion deficit. A big new entitlement was created that added at least $8 trillion to Medicare’s unfunded liabilities, compounding a $50 trillion shortfall that dwarfs our official national debt and threatens to bankrupt the country.
President Obama and his congressional allies have, of course, made all of these problems worse. Confronted with the Bush administration’s overspending, they passed out taxpayer dollars with an even more generous hand. Faced with rising deficits, they borrowed even more money, starting with a $787 billion stimulus plan that stimulated little besides a retro industry of Keynesian economists. Nobody in Obama’s inner circle seems to question whether federal bureaucrats with no experience building cars should really be running General Motors.
But in one significant way, Obama has made things better: when George W. Bush was piling up deficits, growing the federal government, creating new entitlements, and signing sundry stimulus packages or bailouts, Hannitized conservatives muted their criticism. Worse, they were often Big Government’s biggest cheerleaders. Now that Obama is in power, the country’s spokesmen for limited government are finally doing their jobs...Cont'd...LINK