Democrats are, and have always been, getting their way on taxing and spending. Here’s proof of that: Government spending went up in 2011, despite the debt-ceiling showdown over the summer and at least three potential government shutdowns.
In fact, that is the reason - not obstinacy, not partisanship, not racism - that House Republicans and current Republican presidential candidates cite for their hesitancy to compromise. We have fallen for “compromises” before. Ronald Reagan and the Democrats had several “grand bargains” and, to no one’s surprise, Reagan never got the spending cuts that he was promised. A quarter of a century later, Democrats on the super committee wanted trillions of dollars in new taxes and called this a compromise. The taxes are always immediate; the spending cuts are made after the election and then are repealed by the next Congress before they can take effect.
Americans have every right to be frustrated. In 2011, their government had a $1.5 trillion deficit and $15 trillion in debt, and nearly shut down over a couple of billion dollars that - surprise - the Democrats wouldn’t cut. We have huge problems that we are simply not facing. Who really is obstructionist? If you can’t tell, look at the country: Does it more closely resemble the conservative ideal of small government, equal treatment for all and low taxation? Or is the tax code 9 million words, the U.S. Code 200,000 pages, the budget full of social programs and market distortions? Whose vision is closer to what we already have?
Remember that old liberal talking point that Europe is so much better, years ahead of America? I’d like to see them use that one now. If Europe is more progressive, closer to some heretofore unrealized ideal, then it is not the ideal for us. But we are closer to European socialism than we have ever been; and it didn’t start on President Obama’s watch. It’s been going on for decades. The problem with Mr. Obama is not that he invented the problems, but that he refuses to even acknowledge that they are his to solve, as though he were leading some other, imaginary country where inequality of outcome is the only issue.
This year, we have yet another election that is primarily a reaction against the establishment, and the country has swung back and forth again, unhappy with both parties. But why?