Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A New Deal for America

Daniel Greenfield

The New Deal's bargain was that Americans would trade higher taxes and less economic freedom for a social safety net. That was until the left decided that the social safety net was actually a wealth redistribution platform. The social safety net slid into the welfare state, a program of subsidies for reliable Democratic voters at the expense of the general public.

Now the Social Security Trust Fund has been looted and FDR II is threatening that benefits won't be paid if congress doesn't commit to another extended deficit spending binge. Not on behalf of the social safety net, but the nanny and the welfare state.The Democratic party loves taking credit for the social safety net, but they have proven to be completely irresponsible trustees, squandering the trust by borrowing against the sum, and then borrowing against the debt to fund an entirely separate agenda. What began as security for workers mutated into a bureaucracy that existed for its own sake expanding benefits and spending to bulk up its power and influence.

The old worker centered universe was turned upside down. Private sector unions gave way to public sector unions. A non-union public was suddenly forced to subsidize the municipal crony unions of Democratic politicians. Corporate health insurance became mandatory. Illegal aliens showed up for the free health insurance. And the taxpayer kept picking up the tab. Now the system is on the brink, and the trustees have no answer except more spending and a few cuts.

The New Deal had always been rotten with wealth redistribution calculations, but it wasn't unfeasible until fiscal responsibility went completely out the window. The Potemkin Village economics had been there in the 1930's, the unconstitutional mandates, the overreaching regulations and the share the wealth platform. But they had at least used a nation with a solid industrial base and birth rate as their base. Both of those have been sinking for decades, even as spending has been growing.

The Harvard plan has been to outgrow our deficits with more college degrees and high tech, but that covers no more than a fraction of the country. We are still up to our ears in it, but while the blueprints may be drawn up at MIT, the manufacturing happens in Shanghai. We have become the designers and the consumers of Chinese industry.

The latest twist is Green Tech and Green Jobs, industries subsidized by the government to make products whose purchase is mandatory. But the right color isn't green, it's red. These centrally planned economic shenanigans have been tried and failed. And there's no possible way for the government to recoup more revenue from subsidized industries with no native demand, than it puts into them.

Immigration with its InstaBenefits package suffers from the same problem. Bringing unskilled workers to a country with high unemployment is like shipping coals to a burning building. But those are the kind of workers that the Democratic political machine and corporations love best. Cheap labor that comes at a high price in social safety net costs. Combine that with a low local birth rate and a high foreign birth rate and the end looms for states like California.

The current debt crisis exists because spending parted ways with revenues. Money was spent because it existed. And more money was always needed. Spending became the chief function of government. Deficits and debt sank what was the left of the economy into a quagmire. And no one is able to part ways with the trillion dollar budgets. They have become a fact of life.

Where does that leave us? In need of a New Deal. Or a New New Deal that will transfer wealth away from the government and back to the people.

The government has proven that it cannot be entrusted with maintaining a social safety net. And instead its functionaries are obsessed with the concentration of wealth and power in their own hands. It's time to take the money out of their hands and put it back into the hands of the people.

A New Deal for America will take on the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of all levels of government. It will restrain the power of legislators to spend, the ability of public sector unions to hold populations hostage and end the welfare state.

The experiment of empowering government to promote the public welfare has failed. Instead it has turned government into a booming business and the chief industry of the nation. The new big business isn't railroads or mining, it's government bureaucracy. And there's always more demand for it on the part of the bureaucrats.

A nation that has been reduced to an industry of bureaucrats cannot sustain itself. When the middle-man in a transaction drives away both the buyer and the seller, whatever business he is in trouble. A New Deal will push back against the bureaucrats consuming the substance of the nation and fight back against the political fat cats whose subsidies have become the new monopoly.

The new monopoly is not Standard Oil, it's Standard Government. We are no longer in danger of being monopolized by plutocrats, but by government kleptocrats who rig the marketplace for their own purposes. As a result the real monopoly now rests in the red hands of the People's Republic of China. The only way to reverse that is by breaking up the monopoly of government on every aspect of life.

The New Deal demands a limited sphere of legitimate authority for government, not the nearly unlimited one it enjoys at the present. That means breaking up its monopoly of power over many areas and restoring a lawful government which follows the lamp of necessity, not the blazing torch of arrogant power that it now ruthlessly grips.

Lowering taxes will force government and its camp followers to share the wealth with those who earn and produce it. Reducing their regulatory powers will prevent them from perpetuating the crony capitalism that has turned lobbying into such a prominent profession.

There is no reason why the hard work of the American people should be funneled back and forth between politicians, allied companies, unions, non-profits and the rest of the gang. No reason why an American should pay a politician, then his union crony and his corporate lobbyist, so the politician can divide his money between the two of them, and the lobbyist's corporation can pay the union and the politician, and the union can pay the politician.

The wealth of a nation is being passed under the table by a political establishment that has become an oligarchy dressed up in social welfare colors. It's time for this corruption to end. It is the people, not the politicians, lobbyists or union thugs who have the right to enjoy the fruits of their labor. No more should millions in public money be traded under the table for tens of thousands in political contributions. A New Deal must be a fair deal, restoring the product of their labor to those who produce it, not those who lobby for it.

It is not enough for government to share its wealth with the squeakiest wheels, it must give it up. All of it. A nation of unemployed does not need an ever growing bureaucracy on their backs. It cannot afford it. And the events in Wisconsin demonstrate the threat that the power of such a constituency poses to the rights and freedoms of the people. The threat it poses to democracy.

The oligarchy has robbed the social safety net it set up, it has indebted the nation, and worst of all its squandered its wealth to feather its nests, enrich its cronies and enthrone its power. This cannot and must not be allowed to go on. A New Deal for America begins with the end of the old deal. The end of a government monopoly and the restoration of the rights of the people over the bureaucracy and the oligarchy that controls it. The New Deal is over. Let a New New Deal begin.

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