Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Coming to Terms with the Welfare State

It may not be a political ‘civil war’ that is occurring within the Republican Party, but there are clearly cracks appearing in the broad coalition as to what path the Party will take going forward.

On one end you have Rush Limbaugh, who has been vocal is his disdain for moderates in the Republican Party and their willingness to work with Democrats on social and economic matters. On the other, you have Giuliani and Bruce Bartlett, who has a recent editorial at Politico arguing for an acceptance of the welfare state among Republicans. He writes:
“If [Republicans] continue to insist upon rolling back the welfare state by using tax cuts to “starve the beast” or privatize Social Security and Medicare, they will fail. There is simply no appetite for big spending cuts or the radical restructuring of programs that benefit a huge percentage of Americans, especially when there has been a severe downturn in the stock market that has wiped out trillions of dollars in retirement savings.

“…I think conservatives would better spend their diminished political capital figuring out how to finance the welfare state at the least cost to the economy and individual liberty, rather than fighting a losing battle to slash popular spending programs. But this will require them to accept the necessity of higher revenues.”

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