Few aspects of the Republican Party affair with the welfare state are worse than the crooning from politicians who offer “compassion” as an excuse for betraying conservatism.
By muddling messaging and helping the press dismiss anyone to his right, a big-government Republican who claims he’s a limited-government Republican can undermine conservative principles in ways honest leftists cannot.
The story’s as old as boy meets girl: Politician is elected to tackle runaway welfare spending. Politician decides goosing welfare spending would be easier than tackling it. State-worshiping media sigh about what a pragmatic wedding it was as politician and welfare spending leave the chapel hand in hand.
Spending money that isn’t yours is not generous. Promising benefits that taxpayers can’t afford – and that often hurt the recipients, regardless – isn’t compassionate. These are not difficult concepts.
But when a “conservative” decides growing government is his best career move, he further entrenches broken programs both by expanding them and by insulating stupid arguments from the public shaming they deserve.
Think back to all the times you’ve heard variations of, “cut Bush/Dole/McCain/Romney some slack, we agree 90% of the time,” or, “you guys loved spending on this when Dubya backed it!”
The first thing a compassionate conservative will tell you about his decision to spend more of your money on some failed entitlement program is that he’s not motivated by politics.
This is a dead giveaway that he’s motivated by politics.
Consider Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican who ran against Obamacare in 2010 and is now one of America’s foremost advocates of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.
To name only a few of the problems with the Obamacare expansion, Medicaid is already rejected by 28% of Ohio doctors, Medicaid expansions in other states have failed by nearly any metric, and DC is already $17 trillion in debt.
With that in mind, Gov. Kasich could have stopped an estimated $53 billion in federal spending and $4 billion in state spending through 2022 by refusing to expand Medicaid.