Reform Conservatism

Reform Conservatism and the Triumph of Liberalism

Dramatically scaling back the entitlement state is no longer a priority for smart-set conservatives

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A hot new movement called reform conservatism powered by some of the most thoughtful conservatives in the

Julia's Neighborhood
mikecogh / Foter / CC BY-SA

country has for some years now been pushing Republicans to embrace a middle-class populist agenda. That's all good.

The problem, however, I note in my column at The Week is that although reformicons, as these folks are called, start from very different philosophical principles from liberals, their policy prescriptions ultimately are a mix of old and new liberal ideas. Their whole framework thoroughly scales back the right's long-standing commitment (at least in words if not always deeds) to limited government and free market in favor of a more activist government that actively promotes middle-class interests even when this means vastly expanding the redistributive state. And it has basically declared Reaganomics and its emphasis on growth-oriented tax policies passe.

There is much to like in this movement (including its fight against crony capitalism and corporate welfare) — but also much to be genuinely concerned about.

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  1. a more activist government that claims to actively [promote] middle-class interests

    FTFY

  2. I will believe it when I see it. Until then its all talk.

    1. The squirrels ate my quote.

      “politicians of all stripes are increasingly focused on middle-class Americans. ”

      I will believe it when I see it. Until then its all talk.

      Politicians of all stripes are focused on being and remaining in the ruling class. They look after their own interests.

      For example, our tax code is designed to push big business overseas. The ruling class benefits greatly from this. The middle class, not so much.

      Government can’t create jobs, but it sure would help lure them back if they threw out the tax code and designed one with the interests of Domestic American businesses in mind. I don’t see any serious effort on that front.

      Now that Obumbles is off of the leash and going full Chavez I expect things will get worse.

      1. “politicians of all stripes are increasingly focused on middle-class Americans. “

        They are focusing on the middle class to loot the middle class. Help? Not so much.

        1. Could be worse. They could focus on the Middle East to loot the middle class. They could focus on the middle school to loot the math class.

  3. Is a zebra black with white stripes or white with black stripes?

    Answer that and you’ve listed the difference between conservatives and progressives.

  4. Give Dalmia credit her hard left policy descriptions come from sharing left-wing philosophical principles with liberals.

    1. In what way is Dalmia “hard left”?

      1. Full throated support for open borders, cheering on the executive tyranny that was Obama’s amnesty executive order, openly opposes integration and prefers cultural Balkanization.

        1. BROWN HORDES!!!!!!!!!!!

          1. I think poor Sam lost his job to someone who, I dunno, knows how to read and comprehend English?

            1. No. In fact I just fired a bunch of coders late week and replaced them with HB1 visa holders. Earned a nice bonus for it too. They were all libertarians so I handed them copies of The Fountainhead on their way out. It’s the little things that make a difference in life.

              1. Sam Haysom|2.14.15 @ 12:15PM|#
                “No. In fact I just fired a bunch of coders late week and replaced them with HB1 visa holders. Earned a nice bonus for it too. They were all libertarians so I handed them copies of The Fountainhead on their way out. It’s the little things that make a difference in life.”

                So the guy who ‘took your job’ is named Manny and even though Spanish is his first language, he’s got you beat to hell in reading English.
                Have I got that right, loser?

        2. “Full throated support for open borders,”
          Yep, nothing libertarian about letting people live where they choose and sell their labor there, right Sam?

          “cheering on the executive tyranny that was Obama’s amnesty executive order,”
          Yes, supporting free movement is exxactly the same as supporting Obo. I heard that from Sam!

          “openly opposes integration and prefers cultural Balkanization.”
          Got some cites about this, Sam?

          1. Exactly libertarianism is liberalism for nerds who are uncomfortable around living breathing women. Like all libertatians Dalmia and you share a ton of philosophical priors with leftist.

            1. Sam Haysom|2.14.15 @ 12:12PM|#
              “Exactly libertarianism is liberalism for nerds who are uncomfortable around living breathing women. Like all libertatians Dalmia and you share a ton of philosophical priors with leftist.”

              Oh, good! Another fucking idiot showing up to explain libertarianism to us!
              He, Sam! Fuck off.

              1. Sam is Tulpa.

                1. No he’s ‘Murkan, not Tulpa.

            2. You’re joking right? For over 30 years I have heard a similar statement but just substitute conservatism/conservative for liberalism/leftist.

    2. BUTTHURT REPORT FORM

      Butthurtee: Sam Haysom
      Butthurter: Shikha Dalmia

      Date and Time You Experienced Butthurt:

      Please Describe the Nature of the Butthurt:

      Please Tell Us More About the Incident of the Butthurt:

      Please Tell Us More About the Person Who Caused the Butthurt:

      Did You Take Any Actions Yourself Regarding the Butthurt:

      1. Thats probally how I would respond too if I was an autistic nerd who can’t argue. Enjoy those blue balls.

        1. Why don’t you come to Manchester, NH and say that to my face, Internet tough guy. Really. Email me your contact information to heroicmulatto@gmail.com and I’ll pay for your transportation. When you arrive in town, email me again and I’ll forward you the address of a park where we can settle our differences without fear of interference. Let’s do this, unless you’re a pussy whose mouth writes checks his ass can’t cash.

          1. Hahahahhahahahahahahhahah. Oh my goodness.

            1. Figured you were just a bullshiting pussy. Don’t like it when the tough guy act it pushed right back at you, eh? You dumb piece of shit. You have nothing more to add to this conversation.

              Hey, how about we do this instead. You post a picture of your wife or girlfriend holding a sign that says “Reason 2/14/15” and I’ll do the same with my wife and we’ll have the board judge who is more attractive. I mean since you’re such a player and all, I’m sure your girl is a bombshell. Way out of the league of this “autistic nerd with bull balls”.

              You up for that boy?

              1. Yeah, but still, if his dad can whip your dad and if he has a cooler bicycle, what will that have really accomplished?

                1. if his dad can whip your dad and if he has a cooler bicycle, what will that have really accomplished?

                  He didn’t really like the tough-guy act turned back on him, did he? Internet short-guy syndrome? Is Sam a just sock of joe from lowell?

                  1. I could care less about that guy but I’m just wondering why the time-honored HitandRun tradition of frank insults and name-calling suddenly became “tough-guy acts”?

                1. Seems Sam got Hit and Ran.

                  1. What a fucking bitch Sam is.

                    On the plus side, we know how to get rid of her next time.

              2. I’ve always been fond of the insult “Son of a whore.” It’s not used often enough nowadays (you find a bunch of them in Don Quixote). It works wonders in starting a fight. Let me try it:

                Sam, you’re a no-good son of a whore.

  5. They believe that to limit the demand for government, one has to first use the government to strengthen these institutions, especially in the face of the instability and uncertainty produced by a dynamic capitalistic system.

    Ah, so after the successful Five Year Plan, the state will wither away? Sounds legit.

    1. Right just like how the welfare state is sure to fade away when we import tens of millions of people who will lovingly soak up the benefits of the welfare state. But sure they will give those subsidies up once some pasty nerd explains to them how the Fountainhead changed their life.

      1. Right just like how the welfare state is sure to fade away when we import tens of millions of people who will lovingly soak up the benefits of the welfare state.

        Who says that? I do here people around here saying that they would rather abolish the welfare state and have open borders. I’ve also heard a few suggest that bringing the welfare state to the edge of destruction might change some people’s minds as to its feasibility. But I don’t think anyone claimed that it would fade away because immigrants.

        1. Metazoan|2.14.15 @ 12:10PM|#
          “Who says that?”

          A fucking idiot named Sam, that’s who!

  6. A hot new movement called reform conservatism powered by some of the most thoughtful conservatives in the country has for some years now been pushing Republicans to embrace a middle-class populist agenda. That’s all good.

    WRONG.

    We have seen “compassionate conservatism” and it sucks. It’s just an excuse to expand the scope and power of the State.

    1. And harm the “middle class” it claims to protect.

    2. Show me a compassionate conservative and I’ll show you a big-government liberal who opposes abortion.

  7. Will the new immigrants be on board as soon as they register to vote?

  8. There is much to like in this movement (including its fight against crony capitalism and corporate welfare)

    I’m going to assume this is complete and utter bullshit.

  9. OK, let’s start by saying some of these reform conservative ideas sound bad.

    Now, to me, conservatism is a sociological category of people who spend a good part of their political energy fighting lefty do-gooders and would-be world savers. That doesn’t mean that every conservative has good ideas – sometimes the ideas are bad. They’re just not as fully and comprehensively bad as what progs want to do.

    But some of these ideas sound good:

    ” Stein proposes upping middle-income families’ annual tax relief from the current $1,600 to $9,000 per child to offset the perverse incentives of the entitlement state against having children.

    “This may sound reasonable on its face. But it is a giant exercise in cost shifting that does nothing to actually scale back the welfare state.”

    OK, it doesn’t bring libertopia. But is it preferable to what we have now? Of course there shouldn’t be disincentives to having children. And the fewer disincentives there are, the more children to join the workforce and postpone the collapse of Social Security and the other entitlements. Unless you’re advocating for “the worse, the better,” at least it softens the pain while encouraging families.

      1. Let me guess…you’re an atheist?

        And I bet Stein is Catholic, too.

        Weirdo.

        1. Allow me to rephrase.

          Shorter Eddie:

          I’m Catholic and my idea of liberty is a papal theocracy.

          1. Shorter F d’A:

            I’m atheist, but it is simply a coincidence that my political views align with my religious views.

            Even shorter F d’A:

            “duhhhhhh!”

            1. But, yes, I do support a Papal theocracy…in the Vatican City-State.

              But outside those 110 acres, no, I’m not interested in establishing or maintaining a theocracy.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vatican_City

              Theocracy:

              “a form of government in which a country is ruled by religious leaders

              “a country that is ruled by religious leaders”

              http://www.merriam-webster.com…../theocracy

            2. Nice try Eddie. But I have no immoral religious views to corrupt my political views. Unless you classify liberty as a religion…which I’d gladly embrace, except liberty doesn’t require faith.

              Troll harder.

              1. In short, you are an atheist. Good for you! But don’t assume that, as an atheist, you can pose as a champion of universal values (much of them derived from Christianity) while closing off your mind to any ideas emanating from a Catholic or Christian source.

                Because, of course, atheists have no religious bias, but Catholics and Christians do.

                1. Notorious G.K.C.|2.14.15 @ 1:39PM|#
                  …”(much of them derived from Christianity)”…
                  Bullshit. Xians, like every other bleever cults, simply co-opted existing mores and then claimed originality.

                  “Because, of course, atheists have no religious bias, but Catholics and Christians do.”
                  Which is 100% true, assuming you mean “atheists”.

                2. My universal values, stem from the NAP.

                  1. I’m using your logic against you:

                    1) Eddie is Catholic
                    2) Eddie wants tax credits for families.

                    THEREFORE:

                    3) The Pope instructed Eddie to promote tax credits for families.

                    Likewise:

                    1) F d’A is an atheist
                    2) F d’A wants families with children to be unfairly taxed

                    THEREFORE,

                    3) F d’A is against families because of his atheism!

                    1. I’m using your logic against you:

                      And failing miserably.

                    2. Failing so badly you can’t even be bothered to refute it!

    1. But some of these ideas sound good:

      ” Stein proposes upping middle-income families’ annual tax relief from the current $1,600 to $9,000 per child to offset the perverse incentives of the entitlement state against having children.

      OK, it doesn’t bring libertopia. But is it preferable to what we have now? Of course there shouldn’t be disincentives to having children.

      So just because SocSec is a self-defeating mechanism we should all support a redistributionist scheme to grant families nearly 10k a year per child at the expense of bumping everybody in the 25% bracket up to 35% and if we don’t, it’s because we’re letting the perfect be the enemy of the good? Cool story, Socon Tony

      1. I missed the part that it was Stein who wanted to raise taxes and perpetuate the “progressive” income tax.

        That was my error.

        But what’s with “grant families nearly 10k a year per child” – grant how? By letting them keep more of their money?

        Why not pay for this idea by, I don’t know, cutting spending?

        1. I generally agree that a tax relief is not a subsidy. However, it is tantamount to a penalty on those who do not receive it, and I don’t see why I should be penalized for not having children.

          Social engineering is and always will be contrary to liberty–more of it is not good.

          1. more of it is not good.

            it being social engineering. Writing fail.

        2. I missed the part that it was Stein who wanted to raise taxes and perpetuate the “progressive” income tax.

          That was my error.

          Instead, Stein proposes upping middle-income families’ annual tax relief from the current $1,600 to $9,000 per child to offset the perverse incentives of the entitlement state against having children.

          And how will we pay for all this? The national debt is already $18 trillion. Stein recommends raising marginal rates on incomes that are currently taxed at 25 percent to 35 percent, marking the end of Reaganomics.

          ?\_(?)_/?

          1. This is the part where I respond to my own post because Socon Tony failed to immediately respond.

            1. I said I missed it, in the sense of culpably failed to notice it, so as I already acknowledged, that was my error.

              1. My bad, that looked like sarcasm to these eyes…

    2. offset the perverse incentives of the entitlement state against having children

      …with a pervrse incentive toward having children? What could possibly go wrong.

    3. But is it preferable to what we have now?

      No. It expands a social engineering scheme. That is worse than the smaller version of the social engineering scheme we have now.

  10. Speaking of a ruling class that looks after it’s own interests, I took my wife out for crawfish last night. The price has risen dramatically since last year. Double what it was two years ago. Apparently last year’s cold weather has the supply of mudbugs way down.

    I keep hearing from the AGW crowd that we just had the hottest year ever so we need to pay more taxes.

    1. Hmmm, I read that the crawfish season was going to be big this year. I’ll still pay it though.

        1. I wish I could, but alas I’m stuck in Washington where the only mudbugs we can get our hands on are the shitty Chinese variety…

        2. The heads are the best part. I love using the leftovers from a boil for omelettes with the head gunk stirred directly into the eggs.

      1. I payed $5.99/lb last night. I hear the price will drop as the season progresses but it has a long way to go to get back where it was 2 years ago; $2.99/lb.

        It was fantastically good and like you I will do it again. They were good sized and easy to peel. If you are ever in the Alexandria area Swamp Daddy’s and Robbie G’s are the best places to go but don’t forget to bring your wallet.

        Also, make sure you request extra spicy. If your nose is not running, eyes watering, and sweat pouring off of you then you are not doing it right. No matter how much you think you are o n fire just keep plowing ahead. Forget sex for a couple of days.

        1. Yeah but 2 years ago was a fantastic year. Also I’m pretty sure it’s us Houstonians driving up the price from the demand side. Sorry, but not really.

          1. “Also I’m pretty sure it’s us Houstonians driving up the price from the demand side. Sorry, but not really.”

            Damn Texans.

        2. Also, I mostly eat crawfish at home boils rather than out. My FIL makes a fantastic one that’s very spicy. When I eat out I like to go to the Vietnamese/Cajun fusion style places.

        3. Dang, that sounds good. Makes me wish I wasn’t in the Frozen North.

          I plan to make moose stew on Monday. A coworker killed one last year and gave me a steak. Gonna stew it with carrot, celery, onion, garlic, parsnip, potato, fresh thyme, a bay leaf, red wine and broth.

          Yum.

          I’m with you on the spicy food. If I’m not mopping sweat off the top of my head then it isn’t spicy enough.

    2. Wait, global warming means more crawfish? More etoufee and more fried crawfish? More crawfish boils?

      Hell, bring on the global warming.

      Anyone who wants to prevent the availability of tiny lobsters is an evil, evil person. And deserves to be put on a diet of deep dish pizza for the rest of eternity.

  11. The price has risen dramatically since last year. Double what it was two years ago. Apparently last year’s cold weather has the supply of mudbugs way down.

    It’s all BP’s fault!

    Didn’t you get the memo?

  12. we can settle our differences without fear of interference.

    Tomahawks at dawn!

    1. Missiles or axes? I need to inform my valet so he can select the proper outfit.

  13. The old-fashioned, bladey kind. Wear your buckskin leggings and moccasins.

    1. I vote for the Missile kind. You don’t get to see those used in a personal duel very often.

      1. Somewhere I read about a duel fought with cannons, back in the day.

        “That’s not a boomstick. THIS is a boomstick!”

  14. OT: anti-free speech shooting in Copenhagen:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31472423

    1. You see? Common sense gun laws work.

    2. Random acts of randomness. Nothing to see here. Move along. Pay your taxes.

  15. a more activist government that actively promotes middle-class interests

    Here’s my plan: get the fuck out of the way. Stop “helping”.

    NO, FUCK YOU, CUT SPENDING

  16. their policy prescriptions ultimately are a mix of old and new liberal ideas. Their whole framework thoroughly scales back the right’s long-standing commitment (at least in words if not always deeds) to limited government and free market in favor of a more activist government that actively promotes middle-class interests even when this means vastly expanding the redistributive state

    Wait, didn’t we call these NeoCons a few years ago?

    1. Yeah, but now everybody bitches when puerile use the term neocon “improperly.”

      1. *people

    2. While I don’t think they’re the same thing, from what I’ve read so far of the Young Guns manifesto PDF, reformiconism certainly looks compatible with neoconservatism. When I think of neocons, I think of them in terms of basically 2 things:

      a domestic policy that is less permissive and/or generous to able-bodied poor people, trying to replace gov’t payouts w family obligations

      a foreign policy that is pro-Israel and pro-interventionist in general, albeit encompassing a range from Wilsonianism to realpolitik

      Maybe there are foreign policy pronouncements in the back room of the Young Guns, but they’re not prominently placed, so neither apparent contradiction to nor support of neocons there. Meanwhile no contradiction, and an apparent coincidence of emphasis, in domestic policy. So yeah, seems one could easily be both a reformicon and a neocon, although one could also easily be either one without being the other.

      1. I always saw neocons as the movement which essentially traded away opposition to the welfare state in return for the mainstream left surrendering their opposition to the warfare state. Sure they still squawk occasionally, but any leftist in a position of power is perfectly willing to play world police.

  17. Reform conservatism = same old tax and spend bullshit.

  18. OT: Because Comcast is regulated as a public utility, merger deal predicated on increasing supply of low-cost service to the poor. Looking forward to potential outcomes once the entire internet is regulated as a public utility…

    http://arstechnica.com/busines…..uirements/

    1. How are they going to stop the poor from spending all their Internet Stamps on porn?

  19. and I don’t see why I should be penalized for not having children.

    Thank you.

    They’re not my fucking spawn, pay for them yourself. Stick your “tax incentives” right up your ass.

  20. How are these reform cons different from the current GOP?

  21. my classmate’s mom makes $82 /hr on the laptop . She has been laid off for 7 months but last month her paycheck was $16174 just working on the laptop for a few hours. you can check here……………
    ????? http://www.navjob.com

  22. A dollar may be transferred from a billionaire to a poor person. No threat is of greater concern.

    1. Derp da derp da tiddly terp.

    2. transferred

      Translation: Taken using threats of incarceration and/or violence.

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    ????? http://www.netpay20.com

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