Thursday, October 25, 2012

President's Plan Still Doesn't Get It

Finally, with two weeks to go before the election, the president has come out with his "plan."  It is, of course, no plan but just more of the same.  Larry Kudlow:
But before getting into the details of this little plan, my basic conclusion is this: Mr. Obama wants to slash defense spending, raise all other spending, and hike taxes to finance the largest government size he can possibly get.
 National Review editors:
Obama’s second term is to be a more or less precise repeat of his first term. In fact, the sixth item on his seven-point list merely touts Obamacare, which, if memory serves, already has been passed. He also wants to add six-figure numbers to the headcounts of the public-sector unions that finance and staff his campaign. And build batteries.
But you can see why the president wants to do this.  For over a century politicians have won elections by promising "free stuff" to their supporters.  Nothing remarkable here.  That's what the Frankish kings promised their soldiers as they plundered Saxony 1,200 years ago, and that's what the politicians promised the working class 100 years ago.  That's what today's politicians promise their welfare state clients.  That's what Obamacare is all about.

The great achievement of religion, they say, is that it curbs the freeloaders, the people who want their "free stuff" but don't want to offer anything in return. It organizes the believers into a community where the freeloaders get named and shamed.  The beauty of capitalism is that it puts the freeloaders to work without the naming and shaming, because the only way you can earn your bread in the market economy is by serving others.

The great gift that President Obama has given to America is that he has made the "free stuff" argument so blatantly that the "economically conservative socially liberal" moderates have taken fright.  Let the rich pay a little more and the rest of us can all get our "free stuff."  Not on my dime, says the affluent suburbanite.

When the economy was roaring then you could win elections by scaring college-educated women in the affluent suburbs about social conservatives and abortion.  No longer.  Today college-educated women are scared about being able to afford college for their daughters.  No doubt that's why Mitt Romney has been playing a benevolent uncle in the presidential debates.

But don't worry, girls and boys.  Abortion will be back.  In A Brief History of Thought French secularist Luc Ferry tells us why, in his notion of immanent transcendence.  Mere material gain, in the market or from the government, is not enough.  We are not just materialist drones.

Imagine you are witnessing a lynching, Ferry writes.  You just "know" it is wrong, and you would want to save the victim.  Same thing with slavery.  Same thing, we conservatives would say, with babies.  It is not a question of "choice."  It is a question of "life."

But first we need to get the economy back on track.  According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

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