The Wall Street Journal's "American Conservatism" column explains how Compassionate Conservatism isn't just slogan, it's a New Deal for the Common Man. Stephen Goldsmith describes the virtue of a policy that "takes us back to the future by acknowledging the huge growth of the state while articulating a better way for government to help those whom prosperity has left behind." Rather than getting rid of Social Security, for example, CompCon would allow workers to "establish individual retirement accounts where they can direct part of their payroll taxes" (a bold innovation, given that the government already allows us to put part of our pre-tax income into instruments called, um, individual retirement accounts). The Department of Education? Mend it, don't end it! How about a "Medicare reform that gives seniors the respect they deserve in allowing them to choose the insurance policy that best meets their needs"? Not content with these Democrat-lite proposals, Goldsmith goes for big laffs by citing Friedrich Hayek as an inspiration, tracing the origins of conservatism to "the early days of the National Review," and invoking the patronage of Barry Goldwater—as if Battlin' Barry didn't get slaughtered by Johnson precisely because he refused to compromise the principles Goldsmith and the WSJ are willing to dump. Bill Clinton said the era of big government was over; why don't Republicans agree?
Lest you think we're being too hard on former Mayor Goldsmith, here's our rave review of his book, and our optimistic view of his plan to turn Indianapolis into the "21st Century City" (written by Bill "Heartbreaking Sibling" Eggers).