Skip to comments.The Emerging Consensus : Challenge of our time is cleaning up the mess left by the Great Society
Posted on 12/05/2010 10:57:15 AM PST by SeekAndFind
While I think the deficit commissions final product was less than adequate to its mission (as I argue below), it is worth remarking on the extraordinary moment we appear to be in on the deficit and debt questionsa moment which the commission has had a lot to do with creating.
Between the Simpson-Bowles proposal, the Rivlin-Ryan proposal, the Domenici-Rivlin proposal (which came from outside the commission), and a number of other ideas thrown around in recent weeks, people in the center and on the right (helped no doubt by the election results) appear to be moving closer together on the question of what our highest domestic priority must now be. There is growing agreement in American politics that the challenge of our time is cleaning up the horrible mess created by the Great Societythe mess that is our approach to domestic discretionary spending but above all the mess that is our health-care entitlement system. That is the essence of our debt and deficit problems.
The question is whether we can deal with that mess by keeping the basic structure of the Great Society entitlements while trimming significantly elsewhere and massively raising taxes, or whether we must deal with it by fundamentally reforming those Great Society entitlements while trimming significantly elsewhere and spreading the tax burden more widely but less heavily to encourage growth and innovation. The latter is fairly obviously the answer to that questiongiven demographic and economic realities, and given the kind of country the American public wants to live inbut it will take a little time before that really sinks in. It is a very good thing, though, that the question is now being asked.
As the Rivlin-Ryan proposal shows, reforming the Great Society entitlements does not mean undermining the basic social safety net in America. It means gradually building a safety net that uses the market and the power of consumer choice rather than undermining it. That would not mean a radical transformation of American life, but it would be an enormously significant reorientation of our politics in the effort precisely to avoid a radical disruption in the lives of most Americansa disruption sure to come if our existing entitlement system is left unreformed much longer.
That is what we need now. Much of the right understands this. Slowly, some of the left will come to see it too. The work of the Simpson-Bowles commission in its various parts shows us that this can happen, but it also shows us that it will not happen right away.
This is a big deal.
Only a few understand;
and only a few of those who understand have the will to address it.
I blame the Great Society for our current mess much more than the New Deal—though the latter paved the way for the former. Its going to get very ugly before its over.
Yeah, let’s clean up the Obenema mess first.
Does anyone else think this writer is FAR too optimistic in seeing an “emerging consensus” in our nation to deal with out debt and deficit problems?
To the contrary, I see the Progressives accelerating their efforts to drive us over the cliff, to DESTROY the last vestiges of economic freedom and political liberty, in order to remake the nation in THEIR ideological image and according to their desire for absolute political power. And I see STILL too many clueless or careless Republicans (RINO’s, “Moderates) who think it’s “business as usual” in Washington DC.
If there IS an “Emerging Consensus,” it is OUTSIDE Washington, DC, in the Tea Parties, in the State Capitals, among “We The People.” It’s the firm conviction that, though we may not be able to PREVENT the collapse that our leaders are almost certainly determined to bring upon us, we will NOT allow them to use it to ENSLAVE us to THEIR agenda, and we will NOT be dragged down by THEIR chains. If, or WHEN, that comes, then the PEOPLE will determine the future, and those in Washington, DC will be swept out of the way as surely as the leaves are blown from the trees in the cold autumn winds.
The article shows how compromised NR is. It blandly accepts the welfare state and repeats the dishonest “safety net” metaphor. NRO’s vision is nothing better than “reform” of fundamentally flawed and immoral income tranwsfer programs.
Jimmy Carter’s stupidity left us with this mess we face now with radical muslims. His disaster in foreign policy is to blame. On the other hand, LBJ’s catastrophic domestic Great Society is to blame for most of the domestic polices we have today and the resulting problems. LBJ singlehandedly destroyed the black family, our schools, court system and brought crime to an unheard of level. I doubt if we ever recover from that imbicle.
The only problem I have with Simpson and Bowles is that they want to close up the middle class tax loopholes, raise the retirement age, etc etc. but I do not see or hear mention of shutting down even one of the unecessary government agencies (TSA, EPA, Dept of Energy, Dept of Education, Most of HUD) that is needed. The problem we have is that government is too big and costs too much. The answer always seems to entail sticking it to the American public. Until our legislators face the hard truths we will nver fix this system.
Being an optimistic people by nature, it is difficult for Americans to imagine future generations with less freedom and wealth. But it is about to happen unless the Left is mercilessly defeated.
Considering the long government assault on the foundations of our society it is amazing that the producers and good citizens have not risen up and left politicians hanging from street lamps.
It says much about our patience and belief in our creaking Constitutional system, but when a long train of abuses . . .
Short of a major move of God calling His people back to Him, I am not all that optimistic. Right now we have a government that reflects the culture that we have allowed to develop over the last several generations. We have allowed the government to take on the responsibilities that are the families and the churches. I do see the TEA party movement as a good thing that could result in a return to God’s ways but it is still too early in the movement to tell that...is the movement going to continue to move toward God as the answer or is it going to focus on the reform of government as the answer...
Depending on government(man) will lead to slavery, depending on God will lead to freedom.