July 13 2012
Carville & Greenberg: Hey, Let's Bail Out Everybody!
Oh, goodness—James Carville and pollster Stanley Greenberg have found a segment of the population that hasn’t had a bailout yet!
Such negligence cannot stand!
“The middle class needs a lifeline,” Carville and Greenberg argue in today’s Wall Street Journal.
If you want to know what is wrong with liberal economic thinking, you have only to read this one article.
After providing a good summary of the lousy economic challenges faced by the middle class—which is really just the panderers’ term for the majority of U.S. citizens—Carville and Greenberg offer this:
So, if the middle class faces a humanitarian crisis, why haven't we moved to address it? Where is the presidential commission on this? Or the Congressional Select Committee on the Expansion and Restoration of the Middle Class?...
The actual solution to our economic situation is straightforward: increased government spending, well in excess of what the 2009 Recovery Act contemplated and what a tea party-dominated Congress would now allow.
In other words, a bailout of the segment of the population that we depend upon to hold down jobs and raise the next generation without too much government interference. Indeed, it would appear that no segment of the populace must be without a bailout, in the eyes of Carville and Greenberg.
As highlighted in this article, Democrats look on just about everybody as being in need of humanitarian aid, and that aid must come from the government. Carville and Greenberg have the audacity to refer to “liberals proposals for growth.” But it is the government, not the economy, that would grow under their programs. More people would be pulled into the government’s net.
This, of course, is the opposite of the conservative approach—lower taxes, less regulation, and other measures not to provide humanitarian support for the middle class but to get out of the way and in so doing let the citizenry thrive and work to have a shot at prosperity.
Carville and Greenberg call this “conservatives’ austerity,” because anytime you aren’t feeding and enlarging the government, you are being austere. But reliance on a free market in the past has produced economies that are anything but austere. Think 1950s and cars with tailfins and you’ll see the kind of austerity conservative values produce!
Carville and Greenberg did a good job of painting a picture of widespread misery in the United States. But I am mystified by their take of the conservative approach to such misery:
Some conservatives seem breathlessly excited by new academic analyses suggesting the middle class is alive and well, even flourishing. They admire their own calculations that put middle-class income gains at a princely 37% over three decades—failing to note that incomes grew at six times that rate in the prior decades and that most of the gains came in the Clinton era, when taxes were raised on the wealthiest and government tax credits expanded for the working poor.
Find me a conservative who thinks that the middle class (again, citizenry at large) is doing well right now, I want to talk to you about a bridge in Brooklyn. But the maestros continue along this line:
Equipped with smartphones and hundreds of apps [only conservatives are equipped with smartphones and apps?], conservatives often suggest, what are those people whining about? But with Mitt Romney now describing the weak jobs report "as another kick in the gut to middle-class families," that is not a sustainable response.
Conservatives also argue that suffering citizens need a good dose of austerity, Europe-style, combined with growth-producing tax cuts for the top earners—what they call our most productive citizens and job creators. Lowering government spending, they argue, will liberate private resources to stimulate the economy. spending, they argue, will liberate private resources to stimulate the economy.
Conservatives most certainly do not argue that “suffering citizens” need “a good dose of austerity.” Unlike Carville and Greenberg, however, we really do believe that the private sector could thrive again, if liberated. They clearly scoff at the notion of a "liberated" private sector and can only see growth through government intervention. As for those “European-style” cuts in spending, the main problem is that they may have come too late. The rioting in Greece shows what happens when just about everybody is beholding to the govenment and the government suddenly doesn't have the money to meet its obligations.
As for the Clinton economy—yes, I'm nostalgic for that economy, too. And, if Barack Obama’s policies of regulation, the looming double threat of Obamacare and taxmageddon, growing government, and constant harangues against the rich worked, he’d be coasting towards re-election.
A universal bailout, which is really what the two writers seem to be calling for, is the very last thing we need.