Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Simple Metric

After running into two articles today by liberals who just don't get conservatives in a What's The Matter With Kansas? way, I want to make this explanation as simple as possible. To their puzzlement (and dismay), that middle- and lower-middle-class white people vote against what their betters say are their economic interests, I explain to progressives.
1. The government is spending a lot of money we don't have.
2. Someone will have to pay for this eventually.
3. That will be the people with jobs, now and in the future.
4. We have children, progressives don't. (I might also point out that we have jobs more often than progressives, but that's a less dramatic percentage. Plenty of liberals work, and I'd like them on my side.)

All the blather about "It's only a 3% tax increase on people making over..." misses the point. That's this year, and the next few years. But eventually, lots and lots of people are going to have to pay, directly with taxes or indirectly with weaker prosperity. It's us, and we're ticked.

Sure, it will be great if worldwide prosperity creates more demand for American services, so that foreigners pay part - and great if education, treatment, and jobs programs take people out of the unemployed pile and put them into the productive pile - and great if technological advancements bail us out yet again. I have nothing against those things. I'm just not depending on them.

3 comments:

copithorne said...

The puzzlement is that this concern does not seem rooted in any consistent evaluation of public policy but in a tribal identification.

The Republicans had complete control when they took a $250 billion surplus under Bill Clinton to leave trillions of dollars of additional debt. I did not see any complaints about deficit spending at that time.

So the mystery is only, how can people function with so little self awareness about the consequences of their own choices.

Fear not, over the next eight years Barack Obama will reduce the deficit he inherited as Bill Clinton reduced the deficit he inherited. Things are under control.

The most helpful thing you can do is to investigate why your concern with deficits is so episodic and why you have been unable to bring that concern to reflections on your own political choices. That would be the most helpful thing politically as well as people won’t trust the Republican party to do a better job managing a deficit in the future until they can communicate a coherent understanding of why they have failed so catastrophically on that score in the last 30 years.

Jonathan said...

Copithorne, you might want to pick different people to trot out that old canard. It works with congressional Republicans, not with conservatives.

National Review did lots of editorials about this over the past 8 years, and I'd say they're a good barometer of conservative opinion on the matter.

Unless you truly think that conservatives were pushing GWB for 50% higher funding of education, a massive farm subsidy, and a prescription drug program? All 3 supported by liberals in Congress.... who are now claiming that the stimulus money for those very programs is a good idea.

Jonathan said...

But hey, at least Paul Begala's proud that you were listening. Try for a post that we executed Japanese soldiers after WWII for the same techniques that the CIA used, and really round out the talking points.