By Geoff Metcalf
July 1, 2009
“Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” --Ronald Reagan
In the perpetual battle of ‘us’ versus ‘them’ and the left/right spitting match-rock fight, it is oftentimes too easy for ideology and partisanship to overshadow reality. Both the “Us” team and the “Them” team are rock solid convinced they are right, the other guys are wrong and don’t want to confused with any facts that contradict their preconceived opinions and prejudices. Meanwhile, the nation is pretty evenly divided between mutually exclusive polar opposites. The gospel according to the left and the gospel according to the right do not synthesize and if there is any room for reasonable compromise the disciples flat out reject it on principle (or stubbornness).
The mantra of disciples of the left is “We won! Shut up already…” The mantra of the disciples of the right is “We’re coming back…”
This petty partisan spitting match has been ebbing and flowing for decades. Each side clings to the belief they are right and their opponents are wrong. Compromise is anathema despite a growing abundance of facts in evidence.
Despite overwhelming empirical evidence that we cannot tax and spend our out to prosperity, the Obama administration remains committed to making a failed model work based on faith and hope.
There is no constitutional basis for the Obama dream quest. There is no law, and for sure, there is no statistical model to even suggest what the administration wants to do can or would work. In fact, there is good evidence that the policy direction embraced by Obama (which has already been tried and implemented in some states) routinely fails.
Perhaps my favorite P.J. O’Rourke quote is, “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” This time around the vehicle in jeopardy is nothing less than the country and the potential fatalities are frankly “we the people”.
Wall Street Journal recently
published a perfect example (complete with those annoying facts,
details and statistics).
Basically the WSJ demonstrates how three states which have already embraced (and implemented) Obama style progressive policies have suffered significant negative consequences.
Once upon a time California, New York and New Jersey were, among the
most prosperous in the union.
• How did three successful states snatch defeat from the laws of victory?
• They did it by implementing polices that Obama is suggesting for the federal government.
I can’t help but think of the old joke about the guy who goes to his doctor and says, “Doctor, it hurts when I go like ‘this’…” The doctor nods and replies “Don’t go like that.”
MBA types are always ‘case studying’ models and preaching the need to ‘test market’ concepts in a microcosm before rolling it out into the macro. It is good advice and inevitably results in lessons learned that can be replicated or mitigated before “going long”. Hey, just read the WSJ numbers to see what happened to California, New York and New Jersey. And the administration wants to replicate THAT model for the nation?
Ideology aside, the demonstrated realities of progressive governance, complete with mega taxes subsidizing assorted flavors of welfare, enabled by gutless (clueless) politicians and bludgeoned by public employee unions is NOT the solution to our national challenges.
For decades the once upon a time golden state was warned that tax and spend anti-business practices would eviscerate small business and the middle class. California politicians got the memo…but they never bothered to read it. In fact, they went out of their way to ignore the dire forecasts. The result has been businesses seeking less oppressive tax environments in Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona etc.
North Carolina loves the obstinate myopia of those progressive states wallowing in their own muck. The Raleigh-Durham Triangle is growing like California ‘used to’ once upon a time.
However, whereas states have been free to experiment with models guaranteed to drive away the tax base, Americans have had the luxury of being able to bail on failed states for oasis-like North Carolina alternatives.
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Listen, it is not a partisan bumper sticker or election finesse but a bona fide documented fact that more government involvement results in increased costs and reduced services. The ‘case studies’ of California, New York and New Jersey document the negative results of the counter intuitive brain flatulence proposed by the administration. If Obamaism is mandated nationally, there will be no safe havens left in the country. THEN we are really S.O.L. (simply out of luck?).
Ronald Reagan articulated an axiom when he said, “Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.”