How We’re Not Turning Communist
Four senior members of the Obama administration made some points to David Brooks of the New York Times defending against accusations that they have an agenda to move the country to the left by enacting liberal, big government strategies. Here’s what they say:
- In the first place, they do not see themselves as a group of liberal crusaders. They see themselves as pragmatists who inherited a government and an economy that have been thrown out of whack.
- They’re trying to restore balance: nurture an economy so that productivity gains are shared by the middle class and correct the irresponsible habits that developed during the Bush era.
- The budget, they continue, isn’t some grand transformation of America. It raises taxes on energy and offsets them with tax cuts for the middle class. It raises taxes on the rich to a level slightly above where they were in the Clinton years and then uses the money as a down payment on health care reform.
- The White House has produced a chart showing nondefense discretionary spending as a share of G.D.P. That’s spending for education, welfare and all the stuff that Democrats love. Since 1985, this spending has hovered around 3.7 percent of G.D.P. This year, it’s about 4.6 percent. The White House claims that it is going to reduce this spending to 3.1 percent by 2019.
- Republicans should welcome the budget’s health care ideas. The Medicare reform represents a big cut in entitlement spending. It amounts to means-testing the system. It introduces more competition and cuts corporate welfare. These are all Republican ideas.
- [T]he White House claims the budget will not produce a sea of red ink. Deficits are now at a gargantuan 12 percent of G.D.P., but the White House aims to bring this down to 3.5 percent in 2012.
- [T]he Obama folks feel they spend as much time resisting liberal ideas as enacting them. The president resisted union pressure and capped pay increases for government workers. He resisted efforts to create mandatory veterans’ health benefits. The administration plans to tackle the suspiciously large increase in the number of people claiming disability benefits.
See? We are not headed toward a communist takeover of the United States. The president and his team aren’t scheming to move the country irretrievably left. You can sleep easy now, knowing you will continue to live in a capitalist nation that won’t be creating gulags. You can breathe a sigh of relief.Click here for reuse options!
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