Saturday, January 1, 2011

(More Than) Four Reasons Why Ed Kilgore Is In Denial

Writing in The New Republic, Ed Kilgore seems to think there was some level of bipartisanship on the part of Democrats in like...forever.

The truth is that, due to the ideological sorting-out of the parties over the past several decades—and in particular the hyper-radicalization of the GOP since 2006—our political system is in the throes of a battle over fundamentals. Democrats and Republicans are engaged in the most intractable face-off over core philosophical questions that Washington has seen in a very long time.

Truth?  Hyper-radicalization of the GOP?  While the GOP has moved Right (and I consider that a good thing), the hyper-radicalization is clearly on the Left.  The Left is no longer the party of the working man and the middle class.  It is the part of the radical environmentalists, the teachers unions, the public employee unions and the Socialists.  I'd call that radical.  This remains a Center-Right nation by every measure and for Kilgore  to say otherwise flies in the face of every poll conducted for 20 years and certainly flies in the face of the most recent election (in spite of what Democrat Underground might want you to believe).

With George W. Bush out of power, conservatives have rejected the very idea that government spending can stimulate the economy—despite it being a fundamental lesson from Economics 101.

Truth:  Conservatives never liked government over-spending and most of us were apoplectic over the spending on Medicare Part D.  But the last two years (and the spending that went with it) was a result of Democrats controlling the House and Senate, just as the GOP controlling both houses during the Clinton years produced a balanced budget.  We see that even now.  Three branches controlled by the Left and spending which has quadrupled the debt and done little-to-nothing.  And I want to know what school Kilgore went to.  Keynesian economics has been debunked since Kennedy and the Left keeps coming back to it.  We are in a terrible situation right now.  States are nearing default and US debt rating is on the verge of downgrade.  Hyperinflation is on the horizon.  Kilgore must see this, right?

In addition to demanding lower and lower marginal income and capital gains tax rates on the highest earners, conservatives are now publicly complaining that the working poor are not taxed enough, and calling for total exemptions from taxation of both investment and inheritance income.

Truth: Kilgore's assertion here is far from true.  We are taxing job creators at ever-higher levels and it has to stop.  There are few calling for no taxation of investment and inheritance, but for the government to confiscate such a large portion is absurd.  It is only for the sake of confiscation and redistribution that they do so.  A top rate of 50% is nothing more than punishment.  Everyone in this country should pay something.  We are on the verge of a majority being able to vote themselves a raise from the federal treasury.  Make everyone pay something or abolish the income tax.  As Kilgore states in the same paragraph, I support the idea of a consumption tax.  Income tax is strictly to punish earners and redistribute wealth.  A consumption tax is still "progressive", those who make (and spend) more pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes.

Conservative legal thinkers have long deplored the judicial consensus on regulation that has generally prevailed since the 1930s—under which the Supreme Court adopted a view of the Constitution’s Commerce and Spending clauses that enabled federal involvement in a wide range of issues from banking to the environment.

The founders never intended for an unelected bureaucracy to control every aspect of our lives and the Supreme Court got it wrong (intentionally, I suspect).  Laws are made by Congress and are not to be delegated.  Regulations carry the force of law.  That is, you can go to jail for violating say, an EPA regulation as easily as if you rob a liquor store.

Even foreign policy has become deeply ideological during the past few years, as illustrated by the controversy over whether President Obama is enough of a believer in “American exceptionalism.”

Truth:  The President does not believe in American Exceptionalism (and neither, I might add does Ed Kilgore).  "I believe in American Exceptionalism.....the same way Greeks believe in Greek Exceptionalism".  He also apologizes for the United States.  He invokes the UN, not US law.  Kilgore goes on to state:

Now it has increasingly come to mean the conviction that any legal or ideological limitations on America’s freedom of action—even limitations originally proposed by the United States itself—are deeply offensive to the country’s very purpose. 

The implication is that he believes powers outside of the United States should have a say in our freedom of action.  For example, the UN.  And it is deeply offensive.  The United States should be able to take whatever action is in the National Interest.  If We The People don't think it's ok, we will say so.

But, while conservatives are positively disposed toward entitlement cuts, any deficit deal will be a fantasy if it does not include tax increases—and those are anathema to conservatives. The alternative is a budget that cuts entitlements so far that rank-and-file Democrats will never agree to it. Meanwhile, the enthusiasm of a few libertarians for defense-spending cuts should not be mistaken as a general Republican position—witness the GOP’s enthusiasm for massively expanded missile defense systems and its general support for Obama’s continued engagement in Afghanistan.

Truth: Tax increases demonstrably reduce revenue to the Federal Government.  They kill commerce.  Tax reductions at the margins on the other hand, demonstrably increase Federal Revenue.  Congress just spends it.  Entitlements are not a legitimate function of the Federal Government.  Defense is specifically called out in the Constitution.  Since Iran and NoKo don't really seem to care about being Mutually Assured of Destruction, missile defense seems a more reasonable course than a START treaty with Russia.  Entitlements are nearly 50% of the budget.  Seems to me to be a good place to start.

And in that respect, pols may be representing public opinion more than you might think, as recently explained by polling expert Mark Blumenthal, who has found that when most partisans (particularly Republicans) say they are for “bipartisan compromise” they mean the other party should give in.

Truth:  Blumenthal is a Lefty who posts at HuffPo.  If it were true that Republicans expect Democrats to cross over, Social Security and Medicare would be reformed, the income tax would be abolished and Obamacare would not exist.  But the fact is, it is the Progressives in the GOP who keep jumping ship.  Without Collins and Snowe, Obamacare never sees the light of day.  

Where has this bipartisanship Kilgore laments been for the last two years?  How about "We Won"?  How about crossing the Capital, gavel in hand, above ground to rub Obamacare in the face of Conservatives?  How about a Lame Duck session that pushed even more unpopular legislation, only to meet an agenda the Left knew was dead.

There is no honor and no bipartisanship among the Left.  Just like the thieves they are.

No comments: