Another insightful article by the WSJ’s Dan Henninger: The Blue Dogs’ Final Dilemma
American politics has arrived at a crossroads.
This struggle over health-care legislation isn’t just another battle between the Democratic and Republican parties. It’s about which force is going to take the United States forward for the next generation: the public sector or the private sector. If by now you haven’t figured out which sector you are in, then you’re a Blue Dog Democrat.
That is the struggle our country is in. If Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Waxman, Rangel, Al Gore, etc. get their way, finally, we’re going to lose the very system that has made America great – The Free Market, Private Sector.
This just as few European countries are beginning to see that it’s the free enterprise system that works.
The Blue Dogs and other moderates have been sliding to this final dilemma for years. The issue is not whether one is for or against “government.” The issue is: Do they work for us, or do we work for them?
Mr. Obama has defined the stakes succinctly. The centerpiece of his health-care proposal is the Public Option.
He said yesterday, “Nobody is talking about some government takeover of health care” and to disagree is “scaring everybody.” He is underselling the power of his own idea. That public option is potent competition, a winner-sweep-the-table proposition between the public sector and the private sector.
This from a man who has been “scaring” every citizen with gloom & doom if the Congress doesn’t pass everything that he, and Liberals have been fighting to achieve for decades: more control over our lives, in every facet of our lives. And if he gets his way, the public sector controlling our health care, he will have succeeded in making more than 50% of the population dependent on the public sector.
Washington and the states are now fighting each other to drain revenue out of the same private sector. Back in March, New York’s legislature, amid a deep recession, enacted its own income tax surcharge. These governments are becoming like people from dying planets in “Star Trek,” foraging the galaxy for new sources of whatever life force keeps them alive. A surtax is the ultimate act of public-sector panic.
One thing that drives Liberals nuts is the profit factor. That has been a very dirty word for Liberals. Somehow businesses making (excessive) profits must mean that somehow they took advantage of someone. That it’s zero sum game. If someone made a profit, it must have meant that someone else receives less than their “fair share.” People who truly believe in the public sector do not understand economics, and do not understand that it is incentives that drive people to succeed. Take that away, put bureaucrats in charge, and there is no incentive to deliver the best product.
This is all many people in the most dynamic corners of the private sector talk about now. Their beef is not with recession but the feeling that this presidency and Congress have no interest in them. If we get another jobless recovery, we’ll need the job-creating impulses of these people. The do-good but not-for-profit mentality of the current government looks either hostile to or oblivious of these private-sector fast runners.
As Henninger succinctly points out, this recent economic event may have brought the country to the point where it needs to decide if it’s the private sector that can create more wealth, or the public sector that will “equalize” everyone.
For centrists in both parties the moment has come to decide which side of the public-private divide they want the U.S. and its future workers to be on. Trying to live in both has brought us, inevitably, to that decision.