Joe Moneybags Gazette:
Why Can’t the Left Govern?
The Left can win elections. Why can’t it run a government?
Surveying the fall in support for the governments of Barack Obama, New York City’s progressive Mayor Bill de Blasio and France’s Socialist President François Hollande, a diagnosis of the current crisis begins to emerge: The political left can win elections but it’s unable to govern.
Once in office, the left stumbles from fiasco to fiasco. ObamaCare, enacted without a single vote from the opposition party, is an impossible labyrinth of endless complexity. Bill de Blasio’s war on charter schools degenerated into an unseemly attack on poor New York minority children. François Hollande’s first act in 2012, like a character in a medieval fable, was to order that more tax revenue be squeezed from the French turnips.
Mr. Obama’s approval rating is about 43%, Mr. de Blasio’s has sunk to 45% after just two months in office, and Mr. Hollande hit the lowest approvals ever recorded in the modern French presidency. The left inevitably says their leaders failed them. The failure looks self-inflicted.
One organization specialist calls this phenomenon “social deadlock.” ObamaCare is social deadlock. But the American left keeps doing it. This isn’t the 1930s, and smart people on the left might come to grips with the fact that the one-grand-scheme-fits-all compulsion is out of sync with the individualization that technology lets people design into their lives today.
Rather than resolve the complexities of public policy in the world we inhabit, the left’s default is to simply acquire power, then cram down what they want to do with one-party votes or by fiat, figuring they can muddle through the wreckage later. Thus the ObamaCare mandates. Thus candidate de Blasio’s determination, cheered on by the city’s left-wing establishment, to jam all its kids through an antique public-school system. The ObamaCare mandates are a mess, and the war on charter schools is an embarrassment.
It took me a long time to get it. There are two main problems with the blue model (aka “big government”) and neither of them is the Republican party.
The first problem is that an industrialized superpower nation with 300 million people is incredibly complex and diverse. There is simply no way that a centralized government can micro-manage the economy as well as the lives of everyone. The blue model depends on centralized decision-making but the world doesn’t work that way.
The other problem is that the blue model is simply not sustainable. It’s basic math – if you keep taking out more than you put in, sooner or later you’ll run out.
The blue model worked for a while after WWII, but that was a period of unusually high economic and population growth. Then our population began to level off and our economy began to stagnate.
Programs like Social Security and Medicare were based on faulty premises. People are living years longer than than they used to and the cost of living and health care have skyrocketed. The income and outgo have gotten seriously out of balance.
The blue model first began to run into trouble in the Seventies, when people rebelled against high tax rates. Our elected leaders bought themselves time by putting the country deep into debt.
There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Government can do a lot of things, but those things cost money. Waste and fraud make it worse, but even the most honest and efficient government in the world can change the math.
Politicians love to make promises they can’t keep. The left wins elections by promising things they can’t pay for. (The right wins elections by promising to cut spending and taxes, but they don’t cut spending.)
The voters like government spending programs. Even the people who aren’t feeding off the government teat have been told all their lives that government spending programs are necessary and desirable. But they have also been told that their taxes are too high.
So when the left gets into office they blow-up the federal budget with more spending. Then they start trying to micro-manage everything. They also promise to raise taxes on “other” people who aren’t paying their fair share.
Then the voters notice that the left isn’t keeping the promises they made and they start getting annoyed at all the government regulation. So they vote the Democrats out and the Republicans in. A few years later they get disgusted with the GOP and switch back to the Democrats.
Lather, rinse, repeat.