<< Previous day Blog posts in this category Next day >>
<< Previous year (same day) (if any) Next year (same day) >>
January 26, 2006 [LINK]
Are we on the road to ruin?
Opinion columns by two stalwart conservatives in today's Washington Post explain in a nutshell why the Republicans in Congress have strayed so far from their roots, thereby putting their majority status in jeopardy. George Will relates his conversation with former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, at home in Texas, in which DeLay stands by his leadership record and defends "pork barrel" politics as the only way to get things done in Washington. Sheesh... Is that what activists having been sacrificing for?? I was a little surprised that Will's contempt for his thick-skulled guest was so thinly veiled. Perhaps that is a good sign of a genuine shakeup on the Right.
Robert Samuelson ridicules the conventional approach to health care policy, with a delicious combination of amusing wit and cold, hard logic. Talk about "fixing" the health care system is complete balderdash, as I have noted often in the past. Americans are oblivious to the fundamental economic reality of scarcity, and therefore believe that it is somehow possible to make health care available to all Americans, with a range of choices for patients, at a reasonable cost. Not! Any two of those goals can be compatible with each other, but not all three. Sooner or later, people will have to make a choice. Perhaps the biggest obstacle is getting folks to face up to the distorting effects of exempting their employer health care benefits from income taxes, which drains $126 billion+ from the U.S. Treasury every year and shifts the cost onto those unlucky enough not to enjoy such benefits. Just try suggesting a reform of that to some vote-conscious legislator. To me, the worst part is that most health care "experts" blithely assume that public policy must follow the dictates of popular preference, even if it flatly contradicts the basic laws of supply and demand. As Samuelson writes, "We're living in a fantasy world." If you ask me, it is all a monstrous crime, and when the system starts to crumble people will scream bloody murder.
Is it not obvious that the Bush administration has been turning a blind eye to this mounting crisis? The Medicare prescription benefit, the crown jewel of the bogus "compassionate conservatism," is becoming a complete boondoggle, and it may backfire badly for the Republicans. Is it too late to get back on track of market-oriented social policy? The conformist attitude that denies anything can be done to change things reminds me of the 1970s and 1980s, when the budget deficit exploded and the entitlements morass deepened. Back then the unimaginative policy stagnation in Washington was called "Demosclerosis," the term coined by Jonathan Rausch. Two men with true leadership qualities -- Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich -- took on the status quo, defied the odds and, for a while at least, accomplished a great deal. Are such conservative leaders waiting in the wings today?
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 27 Jan 2006, 12: 28 AM
(unformatted URL) .
ALL blog posts today
New blog post entry
This post is over a week old, so comments are closed.
Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:
Culture & Travel
Science & Technology
This (or that) year's
January 7, 2006 ~ DeLay gives up majority leader post
January 12, 2006 ~ Alito withstands Dems' "torture"
January 16, 2006 ~ Michelle Bachelet wins in Chile
January 19, 2006 ~ Views on Iran's nuclear ambitions
January 24, 2006 ~ Fallout from Canada's election
January 31, 2006 ~ Second (& third) thoughts on Iran
February 1, 2006 ~ The State of the Union, 2006
February 8, 2006 ~ D.C. Council votes "yes," but...
February 18, 2006 ~ Checks and balances in wartime
February 22, 2006 ~
Neocons & Neolibs: chastened alike
February 28, 2006 ~
The Dubai Ports World uproar
March 14, 2006 ~ New D.C. baseball stadium unveiled
March 24, 2006 ~ In the footsteps of France?
April 7, 2006 ~ Immigration compromise fails
May 16, 2006 ~ Bush militarizes Mexican border
June 6, 2006 ~ Alan Garcia triumphs, once again
June 9, 2006 ~
Zarqawi: The death of a terrorist
July 3, 2006 ~
Election in Mexico: too close to call
July 5, 2006 ~ North Korea goes ballistic
July 28, 2006 ~ Garcia prepares to lead Peru, again
August 4, 2006 ~ Israel invades Hezbolland
September 6, 2006 ~ "Crunchy conservatives": for real?
September 25, 2006 ~ Nationalists thwart conservation
October 3, 2006 ~ Nationals: Year in review
October 29, 2006 ~ Virginia's marriage amendment
November 7, 2006 ~ The people render their verdict
November 8, 2006 ~ Republicans lose big time
November 9, 2006 ~ Allen concedes / Election post-mortem
November 13, 2006 ~ Toward consensus on Iraq?
December 1, 2006 ~ Realism and our goals in Iraq
December 6, 2006 ~ Latin America & U.S. trade policy
December 8, 2006 ~ Iraq Study Group reports
December 22, 2006 ~ Yuletide political roundup
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
- Wild birds (LAST)
- Science & Technology
- Latin America
- Culture & Travel
- Canaries ("Home birds")
- Baseball (FIRST)
Also see: My blog practices.
Blog errata (Nobody's perfect.)