Dorothy Rabinowitz Dismisses Doomsday Talk about Big Government
Dorothy Rabinowitz is a smart, conservative journalist who has written for the Wall Street Journal since 1990. In general I look forward to her columns, but today's effort, The Republican Who Can Win, is an example of conservative journalistic elitism, akin to what Tom Rowan wrote about yesterday in his analysis of Charles Krauthammer (and quoted on the air by Rush Limbaugh-way to go!) Rabinowitz's message: "The candidate would know Americans are more worried about their jobs and their savings than abstractions like 'big government.'"
"Abstractions" like big government? What is abstract about the renewable energy surcharges in my electric bill, mandated by big government? What is abstract about the 42% jump in my health insurance premium, mandated by RomneyCare? About the micromanagement by big government of small everyday decisions, like what light bulb or washing machine I am allowed to purchase? About big government requiring licenses and inspections for an increasing percentage of commercial activities
Ms. Rabinowitz continues:
From the Republican side comes an incessant barrage of doomsday messages and proclamations that the nation is imperiled by the greatest crisis in a generation-not, as we might have supposed, by our ongoing, desperate unemployment levels, but by spending on social programs. No sane person will deny the necessity of finding ways to cut the costs of these programs. But it's impossible not to hear in the clamor for boldness-for massive cuts in entitlements-a distinctly fevered tone, and one with an unmistakable ideological tinge. Not the sort of pragmatism that inspires voter confidence.
Ah, yes, "pragmatism." Those ideologically tinged Tea Party people clamoring about the imminent doomsday are so vulgar. Didn't it occur to Ms. Rabinowitz that unbridled government spending might be connected to desperate unemployment levels? A federal budget that nearly doubled in the last decade, from $1.9 trillion in 2001 ($2.3 trillion in current dollars) to $3.8 in 2011 is not cause for alarm?
The Republican who wants to win would avoid talk of the costs that our spendthrift ways, particularly benefits like Social Security, are supposedly heaping on future generations. He would especially avoid painting images of the pain Americans feel at burdening their children and grandchildren. This high-minded talk, rooted in fantasy, isn't going to warm the hearts of voters of mature age-and they are legion-who feel no such pain. None. And they don't like being told that they do, or that they should feel it, or that they're stealing from the young. They've spent their working lives paying in to Social Security, their investment.
These are startling claims issued without any supporting evidence. None of the proposed plans, like Paul Ryan's, considers cutting off benefits to the current recipients who have planned their retirements assuming they will receive Social Security, so her point is irrelevant, but it's also insulting to people who care about the future of the country. Older Americans only want to get what's theirs and screw the rest? They "feel no pain. None"? Has Ms. Rabinowitz gone to any Tea Party rallies and interviewed the many retired couples who fear for their grandchildren's future?
Who's the one guilty of "high-minded talk, rooted in fantasy?"