Last week was scary! The Eurozone seemed to be in free fall from fears of Grexit to Spaindemonium! And the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower on Friday, June 1 than it did on December 31–all gains for the year erased. But the worst news was that unemployment ticked up from 8.1% to 8.2%–or so they say. The actual unemployment number is more like 22% according to Shadow Government Statistics. Obama says the 8% is still an improvement over the 10% we saw in 2010, but scratch the surface and you might find that the reason that “headline” number fell is that it doesn’t include long term discouraged workers, while the ShadowStats number does. The more comprehensive number has risen from 20% in 2010 to 22% today–things are getting worse not better!
Obama wants us to stay the course but I want no part of that! Unlike most in the mainstream, however, I think voting Republican is also staying the course! It’s no coincidence that spending and government grow year after year, decade after decade, regardless of which party is in control of Congress or the White House. Self-proclaimed former neo-Trotskyist Irving Kristol reveals in his book Neo-Conservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea, that in 1976 he demanded that the Republican party “reconcile itself to the welfare state [and give] comprehensive thought to what a conservative welfare state would look like.” (p. 346) He further claims that even the undeniably conservative Bismarck knew that the welfare state was not inconsistent with conservatism.
What is this guy smoking??? Traditional Conservatism and the Welfare State are contradictions in terms!! The voters know it too, which is why the neo-conservatives haven’t come clean yet on their real agenda: to build big government in their image and bend it to their will.
In another essay in the same book, Kristol says,
The American people know–their common sense tells them–that [foreign policy] is a subject (economic policy is another) about which they know little, and that their opinions are not reasoned opinions, only shallow attitudes that are waiting to be shaped or reshaped into firm opinion. That shaping is the task of political leadership.” (p. 361)
Got it? We are all morons, but it’s okay because Republicans are going to tell us what to think and make us believe we thought of it ourselves! This is why I agree with Kurt Wallace of The Daily Paul who texted me during the show: “A vote for Romney is a vote for a Republican Obama.” The shape is a little different but the size and nature of the big government they seek to achieve is the same. From the same book by Kristol:
If the Republican party were capable of thinking politically–i.e., thinking in terms of shaping the future–it would realize that its first priority is to shape the budget, not to balance it.
Well! They have certainly achieved that goal!
What Kristol fails to mention but surely knew was that Bismarck did not acquiesce to the Welfare State because, as Kristol claims, the people “need [government] assistance; they demand it; they will get it;” but rather that Bismarck himself thought it up, telling the Kaiser that the people were getting too independent in their prosperity and they instead should be made dependent on the state. In their dependence, reasoned Bismarck, they would remain loyal to the Kaiser. (I highly recommend reading the truly great Robert Higgs on this subject.)
In short, the people did not demand the Welfare State, it was thrust upon them deliberately to rob them of their independence. They now forget how to live without it, more because the Republicans gave up on keeping the conservative alternative alive than because Democrats remained loyal to their social democratic principles (with regard to economic policy anyway).
The Proof Is in the Nummies
It’s not just Kristol’s stated game plan that gives the lie to the Republicans’ claim of conservatism, the numbers offer quantitative evidence. Spending marches ever upward no matter who controls Congress or the White House:
I received several calls telling me that if we don’t get out and vote for Romney we’ll have more Obama and that’s intolerable because Obama was the worst. In my opinion, the only reason Obama was the worst was that he was the most recent! Bush was the worst before Obama and Clinton whipped the country into such a frenzy we got the Contract with America and a balanced budget! Can you imagine politicians being driven to such desperation??? (Oh, and though the Republicans were in Congress, Clinton, a Democrat, presided over the country at that austere moment in time.)
The fact is, we are marching on the Road to Serfdom and both the Republicans and the Democrats are holding the whips, they just take turns calling the tempo. Forty years from now we’ll be at the end of that terrible road no matter how quickly these guys switch places leading. Only a radical, free market, small government approach could turn this thing around and Romney is not even paying lip service to this idea. And why not? It worked for Reagan. Why are these guys not even bothering to pretend that they are offering free market conservatism and personal liberty? Because they know they don’t have to go that far just to get the “Not Obama” vote–and that’s what I object to.
One caller was pretty irate and threw out some specifics about Obama that he argued made “Not Obama” a must vote:
(1) Obamacare. I agree that was the worst Obama did and I marched three times on Washington to try to stop it. (I wonder if the caller did that??) But Romney invented Obamacare and was going to use it as the cornerstone of his election campaign if he had gotten the nomination in 2008. He claimed he would move traditionally Democratic issues to the Republican side of the aisle. THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!
(2) Stimulus. Yes, Obama got his $800 billion stimulus–a number he picked because Bush had already set the precedent with TARP!
(3) Auto Union Bailout. Yes, even if Obama had spent all $800 billion of the stimulus bailing out the autoworkers, in part, at the expense of GM bondholders, I would submit that Bush slated all of the TARP money for bailing out the banks at the expense of the taxpayers!
I’m not defending Obama, I’m just saying, the Republicans have taken away our choice between socialism and the free market by embracing big government, social engineering, and all the rest.
Finally, my mother called me after the show to tell me that her favorite part was that I offered a positive idea: Unless you live in Ohio, Virginia or Florida, cast your protest vote for Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, my sister Franny–whoever–and send your donations for Romney ads in the swing states. That way you could get your lesser-of-two-evils in the White House while sending a message to the party that we’re all on the edge! It’s just a thought…
I hope you enjoyed the show. If you missed it, you can hear archived shows at wsbradio.com.