No Monopoly on Reform - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
No Monopoly on Reform

Jumping off of what Jim wrote, I’d add that it would be a mistake to allow the David Brooks/David Frum set to appropriate the term “reformist conservatives,” because implied within the term is the idea that they want to change things, while the rest of us merely want to cling to the past. Limited government conservatism is perfectly compatible with change, but it’s a matter of applying that philosophy to contemporary problems, rather than focusing attention on an issue such as marginal rate tax cuts, which isn’t as salient as it was when Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980 and the top rate was 70 percent. There are opportunities to do this on health care, for instance, by removing burdensome regulations and government policies that take power and choices away from the ultimate consumers of health care, while driving up costs. I wrote about this at greater length in our magazine’s summer issue. Also, one way to address rising income inequality would be to reduce payroll taxes, which slam lower income Americans who don’t pay income tax. Proposing such a cut would also make life difficult for liberals, who would be forced to choose between demagoguery on Social Security to scare senior citizens, and providing tax relief to middle class families. The point is, the Brooks/Frum crowd doesn’t have a monopoly on “reform,” so we would be better off referring to them by a cruder but more accurate term: big government conservatives.

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