The choice 0

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal titled The Welfare State and Military Power shows why redistributive domestic policy necessarily leads to the decline of power. In other words, socialism weakens the nation. And that is what Obama and the Democrats want to do.  As we have reiterated (see below, The two-horse rider and Obama’s grandiose equivocation), it is a choice between liberty and power  (and, we should add, prosperity) on the one side, or collectivism and decline (and impoverishment) on the other.

Has the moment of decision come and gone with the election of Obama? Has America already freely chosen to be unfree?

Or is it coming now with the push to nationalize health care, put the economy under government control, and begin the disarmament of America?

If now, which way will  America choose to go?

Here’s an extract from the WSJ article:

Welfare spending [in Europe] has crowded out defense spending. The political imperative of health care and pensions always trumps defense spending, save perhaps in a hot war. Europe may never again be able to muster public support for a defense buildup of the kind the U.S. undertook to end the Cold War in the 1980s, or even the smaller surge after 9/11.

The tragic irony of this year is that Democrats are rushing the U.S. down this same primrose entitlement path. With ObamaCare certain to eat up several more percentage points of GDP as it inevitably expands, we will take a giant step toward European social priorities.

For many Democrats, this is precisely the goal. Many Europeans, such as those at the Financial Times, will also welcome America’s relative decline. But we doubt the American people fully understand what such a gilded entitlement cage means for our national vitality, or for our ability to defend U.S. interests at home and abroad. …

President Obama’s domestic agenda may well mean that his successors lack the option to deploy 100,000 troops to Afghanistan, or to some other future trouble spot. This is the way superpowers lose their superiority.

Socialism – a destructive luxury 19

Jeff Durstewitz writes in the Wall Street Journal:

Europe has been riding on our economic coattails and sheltering under our defense umbrella since the end of World War II nearly 65 years ago. Our markets have been open to European goods, and our strong currency and relative affluence — the product of our much-maligned free-market economic model — have provided Europe with a ready buyer. (Question: How worried were French wine-makers about Americans boycotting French wines in 2003? Answer: très worried.)

While providing a huge market for Europe’s goods, we’ve also substantially relieved the European powers of the burden of defending themselves. Yes, France has an aircraft carrier and a nuclear force de frappe, but it’s not really capable of projecting significant force around the world anymore. Germany, the world’s third-largest economy, has a vestigial high-seas fleet and a modest air force. Even the Royal Navy is a shadow of its former self. “The U.S. last year spent about 44% more on defense than all other NATO members combined,” Robert Wall recently noted in Aviation Week.

By assuming Europe’s defense the U.S. has, in effect, allowed it the luxury of extremely expensive and ultimately unsustainable social-welfarism.

The great irony here is that the European model American leftists envy couldn’t survive without its despised cowboy counterparty. If the U.S. economy weakens because of increased regulation, heavy-handed unionization, and higher taxes and debt to support an expensive social agenda — all policies Mr. Obama and the Democrats in Congress are pushing hard — it will hurt Europe.

The market for Europe’s exports will shrink, and the U.S. will be less able to defend Europe. Europe is also facing a demographic cataclysm in the near future because of low birth rates (under 1.3 children per woman in the EU, well below the 2.1 necessary to maintain the population). Thus Europe will be increasingly unable to sustain its current welfare state, the very model that the left in the United States adores.

Posted under Commentary, Defense, Europe, Socialism, United Kingdom, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, July 11, 2009

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Realistic pessimism 36

 Those conservatives who think that when Obama’s screwed up – which he will do, of course –  the GOP will make a big come-back;  America will have learnt its lesson and never again elect a Marxist leader;  the values which made America great will be embraced again by a sorry nation; and  every trace of the harm that four or eight years of Obama-Pelosi-Reid government will have done can be kicked over, should consider what Mark Steyn has to say:

“The contrast” today is not between America and Europe, but between the slightly-more-than-half of America at ease with the prospect of a Europeanized future and the considerably-less-than-half of America for whom our differences with Europe – the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, non-confiscatory taxation, a society that prizes individual opportunity over state protection – were a big part of the American success story.

If you’re a relaxed conservative, this is 1976. Let Obama & Co have their head and screw up, and we’ll be back in two or four years. But in two or four years there’ll be even more Acorn registrations, even more foreign campaign contributions, large numbers of amnestied illegals with de facto if not quite de jure voting rights, a new Unfairness Doctrine that consolidates Democrat dominance of the dinosaur media and banishes much of the rest. If the 2012 election is a rerun of, say, 2004 – an attempt to restore the big fat red-state “L” sweeping down the Rockies and east to the Atlantic that comes down to a few thousand votes in Ohio – Republicans will lose. If it’s a 50/50 nation, the Dems will have the edge when it comes to pushing up to 50.1 – as (at the time of writing) the Al Franken machine (of all unlikely phrases) is doing so cheerfully in Minnesota.

And beyond the operational upper hand is the psychological advantage: The push to socialized health care, the “spreading” of wealth that turns responsible citizens into grateful beneficiaries of government largesse, the remorseless propagandization of a school system all but entirely hostile to the heroic national narrative, a cumulative ratchet effect that “enervates both soul and body” and that the Republican leadership finds easier to accommodate than resist. Conservatives need a bigger picture than GOTV. This is not 1976, but 1932 – at minimum.

Read it all here

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, December 3, 2008

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