Pray tell me, liberal friend, how will government "work" better under Democratic control?
I really need to have specifics from you on this one as my premise is that the level of government spending has no relation to the general welfare. The recent Republicans have managed to create even MORE government in these United States and it ain't "working".
Will there be some change in mechanism that suddenly makes large government expenditures beneficial to the economy and the people overall? Is there some sort of magic pixie dust that Democrats possess that makes their version of government "work"?
What I "get" is that after 50 years of Great Society spending... the proportion of people living below the poverty line hasn't changed one iota. In 1968 the official poverty level was 12.8%... in 2005 it was 12.6%. I expect a lot more for my trillions of tax dollars, don't you?
I find this to be prima facie evidence that government doesn't "work" for below average Americans. Perhaps you, my liberal friend, have a different idea of how government works. My surmise, however, is that higher government spending levels makes you feel as if something good is happening.
I am sorry, but when it comes to taking trillions of dollars from working families I need something more tangible than a feeling that government "works". The facts surrounding what government can and can't do are pretty clear to anyone willing to put aside their feelings and look at evidence. There is little that the Federal government can do efficiently, and bureaucrats prove it everyday.
As for Social Security: there is nothing that is going to make 2+2 equal 5... no matter if Franklin Delano Roosevelt himself told us that during a fireside chat. We are kidding ourselves that SS will not run out of money under the present scheme. The program was designed from the get-go as a "take from the current taxpayer and give to the elderly" and when it turns out that the elderly outnumber the taxpayers.. the system will go bust.
It will take a crisis for Congress to act, and that crisis is coming... just about the time I am set to retire. GWB was right, it's easier to fix now than later. But who in Washington will sacrifice
his/her popularity among senior voters in order to preserve future seniors? No one.
Just because a solution is politically unpopular doesn't make the problem go away.
While I am looking at history, I would remind our liberal friend that the majority party's losses on Tuesday are not far from the norm for 6th year losses for the party holding the White House. That has happened to White House occupants from either party. I believe that the Democrats were born Monday on third base... and on Wednesday they're congratulating themselves for hitting a home run. I say again, let the dog have its day.
As I made clear in my post, if we had lost 14 House seats and 5 Senate seats REPUBLICANS would be crowing... with as little reason as the Democrats are doing today. Politicians on both sides of the aisle celebrate victories and ascribe to themselves mandates they didn't earn.
The proof is in how you execute once you've won... by 500 votes in Florida or by 3,000 votes in Montana and Virginia.
However, perhaps our liberal friend is concerned that I am "name calling" with my dog and queen references. I infer this from the "polarization" reference. If you think that Republicans are polarized, I would refer you to Democrat comments from any time in their history.
(My over-riding theory about how Democrats operate remains the same. Their policies are not successful and what makes them successful is their talent for calling the opposition evil...and driving that feeling home early and repeatedly. It works for them.)
I would point out that no President since Lincoln has been called more vile names than the current President. "Incompetent", "loser", "racist" are just a few of the epithets hurled at a sitting President by Speaker Pelosi (D) and Leader Reid (D). My light joking about San Francisco queens and dogs having their day is extraordinarily mild in comparison to what Democrats have called GWB, Cheney and our uniformed troops.
To Dick Durbin (D), our troops guarding terrorists are akin to "Nazis.. Pol Pot...the Soviet gulag...". If anyone needs an historical reference, those were regimes that committed mass murder on a scale that is unimaginable to civilized societies. Where were these outlandish statements made? Not on the campaign hustings but the floor of the US Senate, that famous "cooling saucer" where calmer heads are said to prevail. And where was this speech reported and analyzed in the famous NY Times? Answer: nowhere... it didn't rate even a single line of type in that paper.
In contrast...how many of us knew what "macaca" meant before the press educated us? That obscure word generated close to a dozen front page headlines in the Washington Post. I wonder what dictionary they had to consult to define this single word uttered by a Republican. I doubt that ANYONE in the room, including George Allen (R) knew it was an insult. But according to the Washington Post, it was proof that a Republican is just another name for a throwback racist slaveowner.
And whether John Kerry (D) meant it or not, he insulted the troops. He compounded the problem by assuming a "I will not be Swift-boated" stance the next day because someone told him he needed to be tough. What he needed to do was be less insulting... to troops or the President.
So long, Johnny. We really have come to know ye, that's why your quest for the Presidency is now irretrievably lost.
I invite comments from our liberal friend. I would especially invite the introduction of even more facts that contrast or compare to the arguments I put forth.
If it were a fact that liberal policies "work" I'd be a liberal. But as it stands the facts are on the side of the free market and conservative policies. What started out with Ronald Reagan so many years ago as one thing has been perverted into another thing that conservatives won't support in elections.
I truly believe Reagan's statement on his inauguration:
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price."
These words remain true today.
I will also quote from John Adams, a favorite of Think Tanker Skip March. Let it be the basis for our discussions among liberals and conservatives:
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of the facts and evidence".
I look forward to the debate. It's what has made this country great, the competition of ideas.