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Thursday, December 15, 2011

GOP Candidates Unified in Their Love for Failed Economic Policies

A National Review editorial is making some news today, mostly because it pleads with GOP voters to not to support Newt Gingrich. The magazine is still seen as representing the intellectual arm of the Republican Party -- despite the fact that it now features dim bulbs like Jonah Goldberg, Kathryn Jean Lopez, and Rich Lowry -- so there's some news value here. But the same now-undeserved reputation for braininess is why most conservatives won't pay any attention to it. After years of attacking "ivory tower intellectuals," they've managed to get the base to stop listening to them. Nice work, guys. Congrats on your success.

But it's not the anti-endorsement of Newt Gingrich that caught my eye. It was the concise description (in the form of praise) of just about everything that's wrong with the Republican candidates and the party in general.

A hard-fought presidential primary campaign is obscuring the uncharacteristic degree of unity within the Republican party. It has reached a conservative consensus on most of the pressing issues of the day. All of the leading candidates, and almost all of the lagging ones, support the right to life. All of them favor the repeal of Obamacare. Most of them support reforms to restrain the growth of entitlement spending. All of them favor reducing the corporate tax rate to levels that will make the U.S. a competitive location for investment. Almost all of them seem to understand the dangers of a precipitate withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, and of a defense policy driven by the need to protect social spending rather than the national interest. Conservatives may disagree among themselves about which candidate most deserves support, but all of us should take heart in this development -- and none of us should exaggerate the programmatic differences within the field.

I especially like the part about "a defense policy driven by the need to protect social spending rather than the national interest," as if social needs aren't in the national interest -- at least, not like the buying super-important fighter jets we never use. Blowing people up on the other side of the world -- that's in the national interest. Making sure kids at home have enough to eat? That's waste.


So, what have all these years of good old, common sense, conservative Reagonomics gotten us? Not anything good.

Associated Press:

Squeezed by rising living costs, a record number of Americans — nearly 1 in 2 — have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income.

The latest census data depict a middle class that's shrinking as unemployment stays high and the government's safety net frays. The new numbers follow years of stagnating wages for the middle class that have hurt millions of workers and families.

"Safety net programs such as food stamps and tax credits kept poverty from rising even higher in 2010, but for many low-income families with work-related and medical expenses, they are considered too 'rich' to qualify," said Sheldon Danziger, a University of Michigan public policy professor who specializes in poverty.

"The reality is that prospects for the poor and the near poor are dismal," he said. "If Congress and the states make further cuts, we can expect the number of poor and low-income families to rise for the next several years."

Cut this, cut that, cut this thing over here. Pretty soon, you've got middle class taxpayers paying in to Washington and not getting anything in return. Tax credits, tax cuts, subsidies, and other government largesse are reserved solely for the "job creators" -- who are conspicuously absent in the job-creating field. Cut spending, lay off government employees, increase unemployment, and the golden shower of wealth will come trickling down from on high. Decades after Ronald Reagan promised this would all pay off, it hasn't. But just you wait. This time for sure. If the rising tide isn't lifting all boats, you're just not bailing fast enough.

And the most depressing part of all this is that organizations like the National Review thinks this is great. All the Republicans agree that we should keep committing this massive redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the rich -- to the point that half of America is in poverty -- and that's a wonderful thing. They should be congratulated, because the American Dream is about taking food out of kids' mouths and giving it to people who've never missed a damned meal in their lives.

Thanks, National Review, for pointing out that all the Republicans are on board with this robbery. And don't worry, I'll take your advice, I won't vote for Newt Gingrich.

Or any of the other bass-ackward Robin Hoods the GOP has running.


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