The Spectacle Blog

Expanding government waistlines…

By on 8.4.08 | 12:59PM

Over at The American Scene, Peter Suderman looks into why it is that politicians are so ineffective at cutting the size of government, particularly when they're people who talk all the time about cutting government:

The fact of the matter is that most professional advocates who call for drastic reductions in government aren't in any way attached to the country's various entitlements and would be glad to cut them substantially. And while it would be nice to think that politicians might someday match their actions with their rhetoric, it seems unlikely given the diversity of the groups they are constantly forced to please.

He then says:
I think more energy should probably be devoted by the limited government right to figuring out how to work within the larger-government framework we seem to be stuck with for the time being.

I won't abuse that phrase to mean that he thinks all is lost. I'll agree that conservatives need to learn how to subvert the system a bit better. Twenty years prior to their appearance, Reagan or Gingrich's victories would have been unthinkable. But they were based on a realistic notion of making an appeal to voters and spelling things out.

In other words, conservatives haven't done a very good job of explaining how they want to deal with entitlements. Rep. Paul Ryan is one of the few people talking about this -- my only question is why aren't there more? Even within the conservative caucus?


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