February 18, 2012

Young Dad, Old Dad....And the rise of quasi/pseudo conservatism

The rise of quasi/pseudo conservatism
(First Published @ Nolanchart on Feb 17, 2012)

I am surprised by the statement that American politics has shifted to the far right, while the voters that are supposedly looking for a “Rightist” and “Rightest!” alternative keep coming back to moderates, and Ron Paul sees no winning traction on his campaign!

The only explanation to me seems to be this:

The current Administration has accepted that the accumulated US fiscal deficit is too large to ignore. And that, in order to get back to fiscal sanity, reform in Government spending and taxation is must. This is indeed a prudent, sensible view.

President Obama seems to be offering a mix of tax fairness (evenhanded treatment of different types of incomes – active work income v/s that of a more passive kind from financial securities), tax rate cuts, spending cuts, and targeted new spending that would leave younger generations with a better place in which to be economic players. Entitlement Reforms is not off the table but only with a tax code that makes everyone pitch in their fair share towards managing the deficit and rebalancing the economy.

But there seems to be a set of folks who like to believe they are conservative and think they can have it all. That is, no changes in taxation except lower rates (on the existing code), that is, no need to first equalize effective rates for the same level of income, and no change to their Entitlements while improving the public deficit! It is implicit in this that to improve the deficit, these lower rates be paid by deep cutting school funding to make-do with 50 student classrooms, without music, drama, arts; by cutting police and fire departments; and by letting roads and bridges crumble. All in the name of doing good for “our children and grandchildren”! Rick Perry made the mistake of suggesting he might reform Entitlements, and off he went, nobody listened anymore to his case that he was the stronger conservative than many others. One wonders how many of these people so concerned about “children and grandchildren” are still raising kids. Well, I am - and I resent these pseudo-cons.

To sustain Social Security and Medicare, either the number of well earning working people has to improve: with a mix of reproduction and access to wholesome education, and immigration that focuses on skilled, high paid, legal immigration - rather than being happy with cheap, unskilled labor via illegal channels while pretending to be against it. The latter without the formers will make Entitlements break down when today’s young people get to retirement age, having all the while funded it for today’s old.

If they are going to break down for the current generation of workers, it is better that Entitlement cuts be even deeper, here and now, and the system be taken towards dissolution along a fast curve, while doing the same to our payroll taxes. That’s the path a Ron Paul will take, and he is out. Even Maine did not choose him! Michele Bachmann stuck squarely with conservative talking points, made the strongest and most credible pitch to work towards overturning Obamacare, but it was of no use. Obamacare is NOT the issue that the people looking for an alternative President are voting on. How can it possibly be when CPAC and Maine have endorsed his clone on this "issue!"?

My assessment is this: the people most active in politics today are mere pseudo-conservatives trying to protect Entitlements for their generation without dilution, and want to let the next generations pay for it in the name of “fiscal prudence”. Their effective message to working people is: keep paying payroll taxes, accept work income tax rates that are higher than that on financial paper trading, while staying prepared to get nothing in social security when you grow old, and rejoice now at understaffed schools and crumbling roads and bridges for yourself and your children - to pare the deficit caused by overconsumption by the very us that are now retiring.

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