The Root of All Evil?

Money won't turn political garbage into gold.

My tart-tongued mother, of Scotch-Irish mixed-with-German descent, and with Southern Illinois wisdom to boot, would have had some good advice for President Barack Obama’s political message consultants had she lived to see the craziness of 2010 politics: "You can't turn shit into Shinola." And not just this bizarre year but every year, her son tells his political journalism students, "Money follows message. Not the other way around."

To summarize: No amount of dirty Chamber of Commerce foreign money—conjured up by the White House a few weeks ago in a vain attempt to fire up left-liberals—could create the crappy set of electorally damaging facts that Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid visited on both the Democratic base and the relatively apolitical center of American politics over the past 22 months.

In other words, "It's the policies, stupid!" that have created the forthcoming November disaster for Democrats, not some failure to communicate.

In "White House Goes Into Bunker Mode," written October 25 from his new position as Washington bureau chief for The Daily Beast, former Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz quotes White House communications director Dan Pfieffer: "There’s an alternative story here that we’re trying to tell. But there’s an element of spitting in the ocean."

In his piece, Kurtz raises the question of whether, in our data-wired world, a U.S. president is just another guy salivating in the political meme stream or whether Obama’s best and the brightest are only making excuses for their poor messaging.

The answer is neither.

Former George W. Bush press secretary Dana Perino gets it pretty much right, also quoted by Kurtz: "I remember being in a meeting where someone said, 'We have a communications problem with Iraq.' I said, ‘No, 89 soldiers were killed this month in Iraq. That's your problem.'"

The Democratic Party’s problem is that the leader it elected to end a war is keeping 50,000 "non-combatant" troops in the country George W. Bush elected to attack, sacrificing the lives of over 4,000 Americans and 100,000 Iraqis. Obama also decided to wage his own elective war in Afghanistan, complete with a George W. Bush-style speech at West Point last December, further demoralizing his liberal base.

After dissing his most reliable supporters, Obama added insult to the Great Recession injury with a big government health care takeover. Pelosi and Reid joined him in a politically tone-deaf assault on centrist voters, many of whom helped elect congressional Democrats in 2006 and Obama in 2008. Already furious with Bush's bailing out of bankers, and scared to death about losing home equity and retirement fund value, the center reacted with Tea Party vengeance to ObamaCare’s corporate welfare for Big Pharma, Big Insurance, and Big Hospital.  

In denial, the K Street wing of the Democratic Party now pats itself on the back for Great Legislative Achievements, and claims that secret Karl Rove/Chamber of Commerce money is keeping their story from being told to those stupid, gullible voters—conveniently forgetting their own big bucks patron saint of a few years ago, George Soros. Not at all stupid, Soros refused to throw his good money after the Democrats’ bad policy message, proclaiming a few weeks ago, "I can't stop a Republican avalanche."

There's also the inconvenient truth about which party has actually spent the big money in 2010. As Politico's Jeanne Cummings reported on October 27, "The money race totals come to $856 million for the Democratic committees and their aligned outside groups, compared to $677 for their Republican adversaries, based on figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics."

It remains to be seen whether Obama stays in the bunker after November 2nd. Will he receive the message that Democrats and a majority of independents are tired of the  liberty-infringing, permanent state of warfare that one of the party's co-founders, James Madison, warned against two hundred years ago? Will he follow Bill Clinton, himself brought back to earth from a failed healthcare "reform" in 1994, and re-proclaim that the era of big government is over?

As a libertarian Democrat, I'm going to hope—perhaps against hope—that Obama will. It’s time to pull Democrats kicking and screaming into the 21st century by returning to the classical liberal philosophy of the party’s founders, Jefferson and Madison.

Transported across time, those Virginia gentlemen might offer this advice to their wounded Democratic Party leaders: "Assure liberty by keeping government as far away as possible from the balance books, the bedrooms, and the bodies of those you represent. Nurture pluralistic democracy and free markets on this earth by example, understanding that neither can be planted by armed force on political ground lacking indigenous human cultivators for growth. Affirm the moral authority of the inalienable rights we are guaranteed by fashioning public policy for individuals, not tribal identity groups."

Director of the Washington Center for Politics & Journalism, Terry Michael is a former Democratic National Committee press secretary (1983-1987). His opinion writing is collected at his “libertarian Democrat” web site, www.terrymichael.net.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • jtuf||

    I don't see change coming from the Left. Ever since Nadar got a few percentage points in the 2000 presidential election, Liberals have been too afraid of splitting the vote to voice much opposition to the DINOS.

  • Typical Liberal||

    Inalienable rights?? We're getting rid of those as fast as we can.

  • Wind Rider||

    Pretty amazing how smart those old dead white guys were. Almost like they could see the current crop of rat bags coming 200 years away or something.

  • ||

    Amen to that! Reason mag will go down in history as being on the sidelines. I think Christine O'Donnell wins in Delaware. Sorry left-liberals, but there's no way you send the POTUS to stump for someone that's up by 20 points.

  • Tman||

    "As a libertarian democrat, I'm going to continue to try and cut my nose off to spite my face."

    Terry, if you think that democrats give a flying fuck about libertarian limited government principles, I've got some bad news.

  • SIV||

    As a libertarian Democrat, I'm going to hope—perhaps against hope—that Obama will. It’s time to pull Democrats kicking and screaming into the 21st century by returning to the classical liberal philosophy of the party’s founders, Jefferson and Madison.

    LOL

    You're deranged

  • Tony||

    big government health care takeover

    Just have to get those GOP talking points in.

    Okay so we need to return to a time when people said classically liberal things but never practiced them; in fact, when they owned human beings as property, and most people couldn't vote and there was no modern medicine. Keep on being relevant guys!

  • Brian R||

    Right, because it's impossible to follow the principles they laid out without also acting in exactly the same way as they did.

    no modern medicine
    Good point, we'll obviously have to roll back 200 years of medical technology. Otherwise how could you apply classically liberal principles?!

    Tony, that's a pretty poor argument, even by your standards.

  • Barry Loberfeld||

    +1, BR

  • Tony||

    I'd take the modern definition and reality of liberty over principles from an pre-industrial era any day. How have people become more enfranchised and free over the centuries? Small government has nothing to do with it. Jefferson couldn't even implement a small government when he was charged with the duties of the presidency. Things like "a government takeover of healthcare" do more to increase individual freedom than a million libertarians jacking off to small government ever will.

  • ||

    How does mandating who can buy what and at what price and from whom do more to 'increase individual freedom"?

  • Tony||

    If it increases the availability of medical care to millions at the cost of a few tax dollars, it's a freedom bonanza. Of course I'm in favor of a full government takeover to get the maximum in increased freedom.

  • Brian R||

    Never mind where "tax dollars" come from... whatever that unknown source, call it a "tax payer", there certainly isn't any sort of decrease of freedom involved.

    Although, now that I think about, all the marginal spending these days is really in "debt dollars" rather than "tax dollars." So really there's a freedom decrease for some poor sucker in China. Apparently they have so much freedom that they're exporting that too!

  • Tony||

    Of course there's decreased freedom involved in levying taxes. But the whole point is to pay for things that increase freedom by a much greater degree. Life is about tradeoffs.

  • Brian R||

    Life is about tradeoffs.

    Of course it is. And why let people make those tradeoffs for themselves when they might get it wrong?

    Freedom is maximized when you make the tradeoffs Tony likes. I'll have to remember that. I feel more free already!

  • Tony||

    We are making those decisions by ourselves, via the democratic process. More people bought into government healthcare than the libertarian/republican darwinian death struggle paradigm in the last election, so that's what we got. It's still a popular idea, though the legislation we got isn't.

    We're gonna have one system or another. I happen to think universal healthcare is a better system than the oligarchic/darwinian system you prefer, but neither is any more a tradeoff or any more an imposition on the choices of others than the other.

  • Brian R||

    More people bought into government healthcare
    Well, if by "people" you mean "Congresscritters".

    neither is any more a tradeoff or any more an imposition on the choices of others than the other
    Oh come on. Leaving someone as you found him is not imposing on him. Action and inaction are not the same thing. Allowing someone to die is not laudable, but neither is it "imposing on his choices."

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "If it increases the availability of medical care to millions at the cost of a few tax dollars, it's a freedom bonanza. "

    You are so monumentally stupid,you don't even know what the definition of freedom is.

    It is the absence of government control.

    It is not the ability to force somebody else to give you something.

  • Tony||

    It is the absence of government control.

    That's the dumbest definition of freedom ever. Without government control in the form of, say, police, I doubt many people would call their circumstance one of maximal freedom.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "That's the dumbest definition of freedom ever"

    No Tony, that prize goes to you exclusively with your freedom = the ability to force somebody else to give you something. That is not actually freedom at all.

    And yes freedom most certainly IS the absence of government control.

    And as usual in any exchange with you, you aren't the least bit capable of proving the case is otherwise.

  • Tony||

    Gilbert I define freedom the same way the dictionary does, i.e., the power to act without hindrance.

    Many things can be a hindrance, not just government. Government is just one of the few such things we actually have control over.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Gilbert I define freedom the same way the dictionary does, i.e., the power to act without hindrance."

    The absence of some material resource that you don't have and happen to want is not a "hindrence" since you have no legitimate claim on anyone else's resources in the first place.

  • Tony||

    Any system wherein a "claim" to resources is legitimized is one in which redistribution of those resources can also be legitimized. "Finders keepers" isn't the most sophisticated system of human cooperation I can think of.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Any system wherein a "claim" to resources is legitimized is one in which redistribution of those resources can also be legitimized."

    No it can't Tony.

    People have an INHERENT right to the product of their own efforts.

  • Tony||

    People have an INHERENT right to the product of their own efforts.

    Oh really. Says who?

  • Hooha||

    I think I've finally discovered what's wrong with you, Tony! You don't actually know what freedom IS!

    Now that we've identified the problem, the healing can begin! :)

  • Contrarian P||

    It doesn't increase the availability of health care, Tony. All it does is shuffle around payments and make the whole thing more expensive. It will further bloat a system already overflowing with waste. In short, it will reduce the amount of care available. It's already reducing choice in the insurance market. You live in some alternate universe where compelling people to buy things and reducing their health care choices are "freedom".

  • Tony||

    But if you're specifically referring to the insurance mandate, I won't defend that. Ask Republicans, it was their idea.

  • ||

    And the progressives, Tony.

  • Tony||

    Progressives simply want medicare for all, and the only reason we don't have it, the best policy, is the same reason we don't have legal weed or clean energy or a sensible criminal justice system. Extant corporations like things the way they are and own half of Congress. Libertarians doing their best to defend that status quo certainly doesn't help any.

  • ||

    Negative, Sir. Who's defending agency capture?

  • ||

    Libertarians don't support the vast majority of the status quo, and libertarian minded people have been instrumental in ending racism, sexism, theocracy, and totalitarianism. Thanks for discounting an entire philosophy as "a bunch of people jacking off to the idea of limited government."

    Corporations don't have any more control of congress than the voters are willing to accept.

  • Tony||

    People are willing to accept a lot of things if they're not aware of them. Distracting voters with fear of gays and mexicans is the usual method.

    If libertarians were at the table during struggles for civil rights, I stand corrected. I just remember a bunch of progressive socialists getting the shit done.

  • ||

    I've read the writings of Mises and he was quite anti racist and anti nationalist. There probably weren't too many libertarians in the civil rights movement, as it had been taken over by marxists, but the earlier progressive era was quite racist. Whether or not libertarians had any direct involvement in the civil rights movement is irrelevant as it was several libertarian ideals that trumpeted individual freedom for all.

  • Contrarian P||

    You are actually suggesting that Democrats are trying to get marijuana legalized? Are these the same ones who currently run the executive branch and the legislature, but have done nothing but continue to throw people in jail for marijuana possession? I'm really beginning to think you're delusional, as you make assertions that not only have no factual basis, but are actively factually contradicted.

  • TwoFingers||

    Medicare has been shown to have several worse measureable outcomes (eg, mortality) than NO INSURANCE AT ALL!

    How can that be the best policy, Tony?

    If you think universal health care is good for freedom, I hope that does not mean 'medicare for all'.

  • ||

    Tony's "new freedom" perspective is also old as dirt. Freedom simply means the ability to act without having violence initiated upon oneself. As government uses its ability to wield violence and steal without repercussion, freedom, by definition, diminishes. Tony, however, defines freedom as scope of actions or services that an individual is able to take. True, by this definition, you could take some freedom from some in order to give a lot of freedom to others, but you are not expanding their true freedom. You are simply limiting the freedom of the few for the increased material wealth of the many in the short term. "In the short term" should be in bold.

    If you define freedom as scope of action and services possible, than true freedom is essentially egalitarianism with some limits to egalitarianism only in the case that it is necessary to develop the economy as a whole. It isn't a philosophy completely without merit, but it invites technocracy as well as totalitarianism.

  • Tony||

    You want "in the short term" in bold because you're always tilting toward a utopian libertarian future that will never come. For if it did, you'd actually have to be accountable for the misery that ensues. You need a government program to blame for anything that goes wrong.

    And I never said my definition of freedom was new. Yours is much newer. "Freedom from government" as the sole constituent of freedom does not have a solid philosophical history behind it, unless you count Ronnie Reagan as a great philosopher of the ages.

  • Contrarian P||

    As opposed to the utopian statist future you persistently advocate Tony, which has been repeatedly shown to not be possible. You never blame government policy as failure, even when it is demonstrably so. When government, over and over, proves it cannot solve the problems you wish it could, your solution continues to be increasing its power and scope in the hope that this time things will be different.

    Freedom from government oppression has a tremendous amount of history behind it. It's in the New Testament. Roman occupation was the hot issue of that day. Who were the most hated people in Jesus' time? Tax collectors. You seriously need to get some facts together.

  • Shorter Tony||

    Freedom is slavery, and I'd trade all my freedom to be gay, married, and get free health care.

    And a pony.

  • ||

    "You want "in the short term" in bold because you're always tilting toward a utopian libertarian future that will never come."

    Way to jump into your own little fantasy world, Tony. THe point of putting "in the short term" in bold is to highlight the fact that redistribution largely only improves many people's livelihood in the short term. In the long term, the size of the economy is smaller than it otherwise would have been, and the redistribution is actually self defeating.

    "And I never said my definition of freedom was new. Yours is much newer. "Freedom from government" as the sole constituent of freedom does not have a solid philosophical history behind it, unless you count Ronnie Reagan as a great philosopher of the ages."

    I never said anything about "freedom from government." I said freedom from violent coercion, which is simply echoing the words of renaissance thinkers. I swear, you seem to have the reading comprehension of a 12 year old. How can you argue with libertarians if you completely fail to see their point of view?

  • Jordan||

    That's rich coming from the guys who says the freedom to leave is the only freedom that matters.

  • ||

    Riiiiiight....

    It's only GOP party loyalists who oppose the healthcare takeover. Nope, all the independents are all for it.

    Riiiiiight....

  • Tony||

    But it's the GOP messaging machine that comes up with scaremongering bullshit like "government takeover of healthcare." I WISH that's what Obamacare was.

  • ||

    I don't think many here are going to defend the GOP, as most of their bullshit 'alternatives' were bills that included things like an insurance mandate. I wish they just did nothing, but the case is that most of them said "hey, the dem's made this a huge fucking talking point this year, so we better get on track"

  • Tony||

    But that's because you believe government is the only thing people require freedom from. I include early death and preventable disease to be among the things people can legitimately seek freedom from.

  • ||

    Is that really what I believe? And you know this because...?

  • ||

    No. I know what 'I' require freedom from. I don't pretend to know what everyone else 'requires' freedom from. That's for them to figure out; not me. I pretty much subscribe to the 'shit happens' philosophy of life and demanding others to provide for me what I made a conscious choice to not provide for myself is imposing on their own individual freedom. 'I' require freedom from others tyrannical bullshit.

  • Tony||

    What if there is no conscious choice involved? If you have no money, how do you afford medical care? I believe medical care to be a necessity of life, and that one's access shouldn't depend on one's ability to pay for it in a decent society. If you think the taxes collected to pay for implementing such a system represent a greater evil than people's access to healthcare being wealth-dependent, then our values are simply at odds. "Shit happens," but it doesn't have to be the worst possible shit happening to the biggest number of people, does it?

  • ||

    Our values are at odds. And if 'the worst possible shit happening to the biggest number of people' is the status quo, it would mean the issues at hand are way beyond modern healthcare and any type of insurance.

  • ||

    I do understand your points, but the fact is that almost all choice involved that lead someone to a point where healthcare in this country is inaccessible to them, is due to horribly-made conscious choices before this point. I understand your hypothetical, but it's only a hypothetical to me since I've never met, seen, or heard anyone in the situation that was flat fucking broke, unable in any respect to work, make some type of trade with, and been denied by every type of health care cover offered across the U.S.; and no private charity, state or federal or local govt' relief agency could provide assistance to said person.

    Find me a person complaining about not being able to afford health care, and I'll find you someone that made some piss poor economic choices up to that point.

  • ||

    'health care cover' = 'health care coverage'

  • Tony||

    Sy I think it goes without saying that a lot of people, in the absence of subsidies, couldn't afford necessary care, since it tends to be expensive. That's why we have health insurance in the first place. A single-payer system simply extends the logic of health insurance--pooling risk--universally, and everywhere it's been tried it's actually a cheaper alternative per capita than what we have had.

  • ||

    No. A single-payer system is a gov't managed monopoly. And I think it also goes without saying that if you didn't have market distortions and gov't sanctioned monopolies and oligopolies on insurance and health coverage policies, a lot more people would be able to afford it on their own. But more to the point, why do certain people have to be held responsible to foot the bill of those who choose to live a less 'unhealthy' life? That is essentially what you would have under a single-payer system. At least in a mixed health care market, I can choose to go on a policy or with a company that might offer better incentives to lower-risk individuals. I don't see where that is possible in a single-payer system. It's this, or nothing.

  • ||

    Modern health insurance and single payer healthcare don't "pool risk." They socialize costs. The problem with health insurance is that people use it to pay for basic care rather than catastrophic unknowns most of the time. It's being used to keep people alive long after they are able to afford the upkeep required to keep them alive that their lifestyles have have made necessary. They are simply passing those costs onto other people. That is not true "insurance." I agree that Obamacare hardly amounts to a government takeover of healthcare, but it is a big ass, negative intervention into the system that everyone from the top down will be affected by.

  • Contrarian P||

    People were getting charity care for years and years before Medicare and Medicaid ever came along. You really should take time out to research what those programs actually "fixed". There are bigger problems with people affording care now than there ever were before those programs existed. In other words, the government made things worse, not better. Now you think that expanding Medicare to everybody will make all the badness go away. Your thought process is simply delusional: if we just make something that didn't work bigger, we will get different results. I feel sorry for you.

  • ||

    HOw should we prevent death is a complex issue. What is "premature death?" We are all going to die of something at some point.

  • Tony||

    I'm defining premature death as death that occurs earlier than it would have if people had access to adequate healthcare.

    You guys really can't win on this argument because it's been tested in the real world, and ours, the most free-market system in the advanced world, is also the worst.

  • Brian R||

    Define "adequate". No, really. Does adequate end at sulfa drugs and trauma care? Or triple-bypass operations and a handful of cholesterol/blood pressure pills? Or does it end at 24x7 monitoring and feeding through a tube to extract those last few months of life? Or does adequate mean "anything available"? I guess I'd like to answer that question myself, instead of let someone else answer it for me and then start forking over money until they tell me to stop.

    tkwelge's point about pooling risk vs pooling cost is dead on. Hence why high-deductible plans were so relatively cheap before - because they mostly pooled risk. But lucky me, now I'm safe from the temptation to buy insurance that doesn't cover infertility treatments, drug abuse counseling and probably hair plugs. There's that freedom you were talking about earlier.

  • commentkazi.com||

    So, how are you defining "adequate"?

  • TwoFingers||

    Tony,

    Sometimes people can be prevented from dying 'prematurely' due to 'lack of adequate health care'.

    Disregard the monetary costs for a moment, and think of the time costs. Often, this 'premature death prevention' requires more man-hours worked by the caregivers than it saves in man-hours of patient life.

    Do you think this is an 'increase in freedom', Tony?

  • Brian R||

    I'm not. If you're buying your own medical care then everyone can define their own "adequate".

    You only need to develop a one-size-fits-all definition of it when some central authority is trying to figure out that "to each according to his needs" thing.

  • ||

    WHat if we could keep everyone alive indefinitely, but it cost 1 billion dollars a year per person? Under your logic, receiving immortality would be a "right." YOu are arguing that everyone has a right to whatever medical care exists at the time, regardless of cost.

    True, we can't win an argument when you completely ignore our point of view and continually straw man us to death.

  • Tony's Hate-List entries||

    A. GOP
    B. Health Care
    C. Modern Medicine
    D. Relevant guys
    E. Classical Liberalism

  • T||

    If money was all that mattered in political campaigns, Ross Perot would have been president, Mike Huffington a senator, and Jon Corzine would still be a governor.

    Alternatively, talk to me about Meg Whitman come Wednesday morning.

  • ||

    What's all this I hear? Buyers remorse?

    Watch me not fucking care.

  • ||

    As a libertarian Democrat, I'm going to hope—perhaps against hope—that Obama will. It’s time to pull Democrats kicking and screaming into the 21st century by returning to the classical liberal philosophy of the party’s founders, Jefferson and Madison.

    Or, you know, you could actually support a party that already supports those things.

  • Fuck!||

    As a libertarian Democrat, I'm going to hope—perhaps against hope—that Obama will. It’s time to pull Democrats kicking and screaming into the 21st century by returning to the classical liberal philosophy of the party’s founders, Jefferson and Madison.

    Jefferson and Madison were founders of the Democratic Republican party, "jackass" Jackson was the founder of the Democratic party.

  • unPC||

    True story.

  • Mike the Grouch||

    the center reacted with Tea Party vengeance to ObamaCare’s corporate welfare for Big Pharma, Big Insurance, and Big Hospital.

    That's not exactly correct. The Tea Party preceded ObamaCare and grew during the health care debates. But it did not come from the "center". Not unless you consider the libertarians and economically conservative Republicans to be anywhere near the center.

  • ||

    A lot closer to the center than the current administration & Congress....

  • Mike the Grouch||

    On a traditional left/right scale, the current admin and congress are pretty centrist. Especially when taken as a whole. Otherwise ObamaCare would be another word for "single payer health care", which most liberals would vastly prefer over the corporate giveaway that is ObamaCare.

  • ||

    Well, we obviously disagree on where the "center" is....

  • ||

    I think Ron Paul's 'corporatist' description fits Obama more than a far-left liberal. He's statist as fuck, but given he's been 'bailing out' companies and giving free checks to well-established huge businesses when he could have been saying "universal healthcare", "goodbye Iraq/Afghanistan", and "free blowjobs". In that sense, I don't think his politics have been very 'far-left'. Although, most leftists seem to not really notice that they're drifting with him..

  • commentkazi.com||

    No, you're confused. He's not a leftist or a corporatist, he's a blank canvas.

  • Maybe not the "center"||

    ...but more from the center than..., yeah.

  • Smarts Factor||

    "...Will he follow Bill Clinton, himself brought back to earth...?"
    No. Obama is nowhere near as bright as Clinton.

  • Obama's Volt||

    I ran my Chevy Volt into a ditch and I can't get out...

  • ||

    But it gets 230 MPG!!!

  • With unlimited range.||

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So, his Volt ran off the... ROOOAAADDDDD!!!!1!!?

  • Richard Nous||

    Obama said the republicans veered off the road into the ditch. However, Obama neglects to tell us democrats built the road and the reason we were traveling on it was because democrats paved the way.

  • ||

    The only question in my mind is, who has the slurpee? Obviously only irresponsible policymakers enjoy slurpees.

  • ||

  • ||

    We must not be too harsh with the writer here. Having once been a Democrat myself before switching to the Libertarians it too a awhile for me to realize the Democratic Party was never going to deviate from the road to Socialism. Fiscally Conservative Democrats are so extinct.

  • prolefeed||

    As a the only libertarian Democrat,

    Fixed.

  • prolefeed||

    Tony|10.29.10 @ 2:49PM|#

    But it's the GOP messaging machine that comes up with scaremongering bullshit like "government takeover of healthcare." I WISH that's what Obamacare was.

    It's too wordy to say, "another significant chunk of the healthcare industry taken over by people who want the whole thing run by the government but are doing Fabian incrementalism".

    Brevity!

  • unPC||

    Good point. Liberal politicians always act outnraged when anybody uses the word "socialism" to describe the latest incremental move toward socialism.

  • Tony||

    Are we really any more socialistic than we were at any time in the post-WWII period? I prefer to think that we are emerging from the ruins of failed attempt to move us more toward a laissez-faire system, the only thing we have to show for which is the biggest wealth gap in generations.

  • ||

    When have we actually had a laissez-faire system? Lemme guess '01-'08, right?

  • Tony||

    Never. Even incremental steps in that direction were disastrous. How about we give steps the other way a try? It's served us pretty well before.

  • Hooha||

    Interesting perspective. The 30s, 60s, 70s, 90s, and 00s were total shit, economically speaking. The 10s, 20s, 40s, 50s and 80s were golden years by comparison. I wonder in which 'direction' we were 'stepping' each decade?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    By "steps", Tony means "how about we veer completely in the opposite direction of laissez-faire".

    No, not as a question... as a statement.

  • Prefer whatever... ||

    Prefer to think whatever you like. That doesn't change the fact that socialism consumes rather than produces wealth.

  • Tony||

    Which means absolutely nothing and is just libertarian buzzwords being regurgitated.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    On the contrary it is absolutely correct and you aren't the least bit capable of proving the case is otherwise.

  • More buzzwords.||

    Everything means nothing: If Tony prefers to think of it that way. Others don't prefer to think of it that way. You don't have to be a libertarian to recognize reality.

  • Tony||

    Nope, it means nothing. It's flimsy buzzwords whose sole purpose is justifying the continuing looting of the country by wealthy interests. Oops I meant "productive heroes."

  • Bullshit||

    Socialist buzzwords that mean nothing.

  • commentkazi.com||

    I always prefer the buzzwords of "productive heroes" than the buzzwords of "public servants".

  • Contrarian P||

    Where is your proof that any laissez-faire system resulted in any income inequality? Perhaps the proliferation of easy credit and the absolute abysmal savings rate of Americans has something to do with it. Did you ever read The Millionaire Next Door? It's one of the most thorough studies of the characteristics and habits of the wealthy. Repeatedly emphasized over and over again: they are compulsive savers and investors. In other words, they saved when society encouraged them to spend. They refused to take out an endless stream of loans that enriched someone else. Your analysis is classic post hoc ergo propter hoc. The idea that the middle class itself has been pumping money to the rich of its own volition obviously hasn't occurred to you, as you believe all things flow from government.

  • ||

    Way to completely ignore the context of the situation. The shittiness of the modern world directly relates to events that occurred hundreds of years before WW2. Any steps toward laissez faire have been modest at best. Reagan himself could hardly be considered a free marketeer.

  • ||

    TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT…..TO ALL THE COMMUNIST IN THE IG,FBI,CIA,AND U.S. Senators and the left wing media outlets…..Wake up america!!!! This goverment is the most corrupt we have had in years. The good old boy network is very much in charge.Mr. obama and pelosi are the puppet masters.How many of their good friends benefited by the agreement ” what a farce. All of the u.sSenators voted for this. I am ashamed to say I voted for the these corupted self serving politicians.With good reason they picked an out of towner to be president.All u.s departments need an overhaul. We need to rid ourselves of the puppet masters and the dept heads that bow down to obama and pelosi.I am sick of the lip service I have been getting from these dummies over violations, their friends are getting away with.in the goverment . Barack Hussein Obama , threatens friends and bows to Mmslim.
    INPEACH OBAMA ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.///For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.THE COMMANDER.

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    I love communist obama.will you ,thank you,the commander.ps aka red ink obama

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    TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT…..TO ALL THE COMMUNIST IN THE IG,FBI,CIA,AND U.S. Senators and the left wing media outlets…..Wake up america!!!! This goverment is the most corrupt we have had in years. The good old boy network is very much in charge.Mr. obama and pelosi are the puppet masters.How many of their good friends benefited by the agreement ” what a farce. All of the u.sSenators voted for this. I am ashamed to say I voted for the these corupted self serving politicians.With good reason they picked an out of towner to be president.All u.s departments need an overhaul. We need to rid ourselves of the puppet masters and the dept heads that bow down to obama and pelosi.I am sick of the lip service I have been getting from these dummies over violations, their friends are getting away with.in the goverment . Barack Hussein Obama , threatens friends and bows to Mmslim.
    INPEACH OBAMA ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.///For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.//////// I love communist obama.will you ,thank you,the commander.ps aka red ink obama.//////// Repost this if you agree, IS communist obama ONE , Because of its secrecy and refusal to issue news releases, the Bilderberg group is frequently accused of political conspiracies. This outlook has been popular on both extremes of the ideological spectrum, even if they disagree on what the group wants to do. Left-wingers accuse the Bilderberg group of conspiring to impose capitalist domination,[21] while some right-wing groups such as the John Birch Society have accused the group of conspiring to impose a world government and planned economy.Obama's India trip really an Emergency Bilderberger Meeting ?THE COMMADER.

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