Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns



For reasons ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous the conservative movement must focus on the politics of repeal. Failure to make this argument because of the difficulty and challenges involved in achieving repeal of Obamacare are I believe beside the point. Many conservative intellectuals will point to the difficulty of rolling back elements of the democratic welfare state. While the facts of this particular argument are hard to ignore, there are crucial moments will retrenchment, if not repeal, of welfare state programs are eminently possible. I believe we are in such a moment. Reuven Brenner of McGill Business School has written on these possiblities in the course of his broader reflections on democratic finance and its ability to level government spending and power. In short, voters will turn on profligate government spending when they clearly understand that the funding model for these policies is no longer juiced. This requires information and awareness that an entire political-fiscal-social model is no longer viable. To refuse to act is to accept death. We seem obviously to be at the end of a fiscal model that has powered government spending and its entitlement programs for decades. Moreover, the voters are aware of this fact. Assuming the accuracy of Brenner's reflections, and solid precedent is available, even in our own country, then repeal is not just a strategic political calculation to energize activists and focus the tea party movement, but is something doable that will stabilize our country. If not, then conservatism in America will again find itself playing on terms set by the Progressives. We can look forward to another generation of arguments where we eventually do nothing but urge adjustment and try to retard rapid fiscal growth.

Categories > Politics

Discussions - 8 Comments

Repeal would be nice, but how you gonna get 'em back on the farm?

First ya gotta get the House. Then ya gotta get the Senate. Then ya gotta get the White House. Finally, ya gotta convince a dependent electorate that they don't want to be dependent anymore.

This whole business is about dependency. The first implementation of the bill is to extend IRS dependency to age 26. Traditionally it ended at 18, and today it's 24 if the child is a full-time student.

Of course, "dependents" by definition are not supporting themselves (or the economy) in the workplace - they are being supported.

At the same time, we are close to the point where a majority of income tax filers are net collectors (dependents) of the Federal largess. Counting also those who are employed by government, it is easy to see why any effort to repeal or otherwise diminish any aspect of the dependency bureaucracy is doomed to failure. Few are they who can see past their own selfish self-interest.

As I've said before, the Democrats have finally created what they've always been after: a country where the rich completely subsidize the poor. The fact that the bottom 50% of the population pays only 3% of the Federal income tax tells the entire story. Those of us who pay taxes have been effectively enslaved.

The only real hope is a massive, organized DEFAULT; a taxpayer revolt to bring the government to its knees. The Tea Party demonstrates that the Right can be mobilized, but they need to be more effective. We need to create an organization to defend those whom the IRS comes after, and then we need to refuse to file. Sure, the payroll deductions will mitigate some of the damage, but the point will be made. We'll never get real reform in this country until we turn off the revenue spigot.

"To refuse to act is to accept death."

Are you no longer capable of hearing yourselves over here? This was once a wonderful forum, albeit one whose leanings were a loooooong way right of my own profoundly liberal ones (leanings, Hal, that were developed over two tours in the Mid East, and during four years doctoral work). Now ... I just don't know. It's become the locus of hysterical outpouring where everyone works desperately to make themselves feel that something's being done to prevent Barack the Magic Negro from destroying America. It's ... insane.

And you want to argue to repeal the bill? Go right ahead and explain to voters how we should get back to a time when children with pre-existing conditions can, thank GOD, be denied medical coverage.


Four years of doctor work does not necessarily translate into political wisdom, Sick and tired, though it does fit snugly with your liberal ideology.

Nobody cares what you think. If your so sick and tired then go to a hospital. Now that freeloaders like you get free health care paid for by productive members of society you might as well take advantage of it. Better yet go back to your cave. You must have spent too much time in the Middle East and turned Arab.

Never claimed it did, Owl, but you're right: it does fit pretty snugly with that, doesn't it? Oh, well. Trust me; I'm more than aware of my flaws!

And Hal? I've met plenty of chicken hawks like you in my life. Grow a brain cell, learn to make a distinction (Arab does not, repeat does not equal ter'ist), and recognize that having guns doesn't equal manliness (signing up to defend a country to claim to love might go some way, though) and maybe - just maybe - someone or something other than your right hand will take you seriously.

Thank you, boys and girls. You've been a great audience.

Power to the peaceful.

Ok, Mr. Liberal, want to tell us all how we can afford some $30 TRILLION in social welfare obligations. The Left is always good at weeping (and spending), but just once I'd like to see them do something to help the people who PRODUCE THE WEALTH. And no, Mr. Liberal, that's not the working man, who pretty much does only what he/she has to to live. And it's not the parasitic classes (government, law, education) -- these are overhead. It's entrepreneurs and (greedy) go-getters that make the system work, and given the kind of animals we are, nothing else will work. Nothing.

Yet like all big government types, you and your ilk view producers like milk-cows, but unlike good farmers you don't have the first notion about their needs. Social obligation cuts both ways, and if you want the oxen to plough YOU HAVE TO FEED THEM.

A little hard . . . but very good, Redwald. Just what I needed to read this morning with my coffee. Thanks!

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