According to a Newsweek article written by Jon Meacham and Evan Thomas.  Well if we weren’t before, we certainly are now with Porkulus being passed.  Interestingly the Dow takes a dive.  We still need to fight this thing as it goes to conference.  Meacham and Thomas say that we need to acknowledge the reality of our current situation.

If we fail to acknowledge the reality of the growing role of government in the economy, insisting instead on fighting 21st-century wars with 20th-century terms and tactics, then we are doomed to a fractious and unedifying debate. The sooner we understand where we truly stand, the sooner we can think more clearly about how to use government in today’s world.

So basically, stop using the word socialism because that is so passe.  It is so divisive.  It isn’t productive.  Let’s find different words.  Just grow up and realize that only government can solve the problem we face.  I mean we should be thankful that the government “is going to try things that we’ve never tried before.”

No we’re not becoming socialist, no that isn’t helpful – the helpful comparison is that we are becoming French!  That sounds so much better.  Meacham and Thomas continue…

All of this is unfolding in an economy that can no longer be understood, even in passing, as the Great Society vs. the Gipper. Whether we like it or not—or even whether many people have thought much about it or not—the numbers clearly suggest that we are headed in a more European direction. A decade ago U.S. government spending was 34.3 percent of GDP, compared with 48.2 percent in the euro zone—a roughly 14-point gap, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In 2010 U.S. spending is expected to be 39.9 percent of GDP, compared with 47.1 percent in the euro zone—a gap of less than 8 points. As entitlement spending rises over the next decade, we will become even more French.

Pourquoi serait-il vouloir être français?  I guess because the French are doing so well, let’s just resign ourselves to this.  Besides it’s Bush’s fault, as they write, “for the man who laid the foundations for the world Obama now rules is George W. Bush, who moved to bail out the financial sector last autumn with $700 billion.”  Let’s forget the fact that Obama voted for this, and what this President Bush have to do with the current Spendulus bill?  Nothing.  This is a Democrat baby.  In their minds (along with the White House and Congress) to get out of this mess is more government.

Now comes the reckoning. The answer may indeed be more government. In the short run, since neither consumers nor business is likely to do it, the government will have to stimulate the economy. And in the long run, an aging population and global warming and higher energy costs will demand more government taxing and spending. The catch is that more government intrusion in the economy will almost surely limit growth (as it has in Europe, where a big welfare state has caused chronic high unemployment). Growth has always been America’s birthright and saving grace.

So it’s the answer, but it will limit growth, but growth is what we need.  Huh?  No!  You can’t spend your way out of a recession.  Stimulus plans like this simply don’t work.  Government growth will not help us.  Why should we not just resign ourselves to socialism becoming more like France?  Simple.  It just doesn’t work.

15 comments
  1. You know I really continue to be astonished at this meely mouthed talk of how we are not allowed to think for ourselves. How the government is gong to save us…Why is it that when one speaks the truth that Government is never the answer it never has been, history and various societies from the past and present point that out, that we are told to be quiet.

    I am just frustrated as I know God so does not desire this for us as a nation or as a people.

  2. Well, I took German in High School.. can I be German? I mean, France is nice and all, but give me BEER!

    Two years, my friends. Decide where you want to live now and get there. I am choosing the KY/TN area. Lots of hills and trees… good hunting…

    The revolution is at hand. Will you be a leader or a follower?

  3. Bush is to blame for a lot of what we face now. As the de facto leader of the Republicans, it was his duty to his base to reign in the congressional republicans and their excess. The buck flew right past his desk for eight years on that front. If he had governed like a man who wanted to build his party, he would have:

    1) Vetoed the transportation and farm subsidy bills.
    2) Turned the invasion of Iraq 100% over to the generals to kick the everloving $hit out of the Iraqi rebels so we would have been out of there within 2-3 years.
    3) Never pushed for the medicare expansion.
    4) Expanded the border patrol by 10,000 agents on the southern border and gone firmly against amnesty.
    5) Let the major banks fail instead of starting the process of transferring trillions of dollars into them.

    Instead, Bush chose to govern like the heir of both LBJ and Wilson, and the republicans paid bitterly for his extreme lack of conservatism on most issues.

  4. Shane,

    Just my humble opinion, but Grossman's rhetorical flourishes go off the deep end. For instance:

    >>>Third, it recognizes that Americans have undergone a financial calamity and that we need time to adjust; we cannot, like a car battery, be shocked back to life, and we aren’t in the mood to have someone blow in our ear.

    Any he provided what factual or evidentiary basis for this assertion?

    Well written post and the Grossman link was an interesting read as well. I worry that a rush to act may be clouding sound judgement and common sense solutions. I also worry that the fate of our government in some ways now rests with the budgetary committee that is pounding out compromises on the stimulus package. But by the grace of God go we.

    -Nathan

  5. Any he provided what factual or evidentiary basis for this assertion?

    Suffice it to say that much of our prosperity is built on cheap credit. Most retailers and restaurants have built their businesses on that assumption as well. Therefore, any sharp reduction in the availability of cheap credit will have a direct impact on these major employers of working class people, and the industries that depend on them to get goods to market. In short: if people stop spending cheap credit and inflated dollars, the businesses that benefited from that constant spending of money that we don't really have will be hurt, and that will cascade across the economic landscape.

  6. I know the American citizen doesn't want anyone to blow in their ear, but the confidence of cash in their wallet hopefully will be nice. (and **hopefully** better than the bank bailout in terms of fairness…but that remains to be seen)

    Shane..I guess that means our kids will only be paying for it for 499 years instead of 532. The talk of billions in debt sounds ludicrous to me–like a fantasy–like Disneyland style.

  7. Great post here. I was looking for a good picture to put with a new post on my own blog and I was directed to yours. I couldn't agree more with your thoughts on this ridiculous Newsweek story.

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