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We're Not 'All in This Together' Mr. Obama, and We Don't Want Obamacare

October 17, 2013 in Economics

By Roger Pilon

Roger Pilon

The latest federal government shutdown and debt default battles may be over for the moment, but the basic underlying issue of out-of-control deficits and debt remains unaddressed. The media have treated us instead to tales of suffering federal workers and closed national parks, thinking perhaps that we could handle nothing deeper.

Occasionally, however, a slightly more probing piece has appeared over this stretch, as with Tuesday’s New York Times “Opinionator” column by Michael P. Lynch, “Democracy After the Shutdown.” Alarmed by Forbes Opinions editor John Tamny’s piece a fortnight earlier, which at that stage urged Republicans to take credit for the shutdown, Lynch saw in Tamny’s article “the recent emergence of a political philosophy that threatens to unravel our joint commitment to a common democratic enterprise.” Actually, the “political philosophy” Tamny invoked is hardly recent. The anti-federalists articulated it thoroughly. And the federalists, writing also in New York’s newspapers of the day, were only marginally more committed to “a common democratic enterprise.”

We’re in this deficit and debt mess today because we’ve essentially abandoned the idea of constitutionally limited government.”

But for Lynch, Tamny’s piece brought things to a head, prompting him to write that we are living “in a dangerous political moment.” What’s the point of the Republican Party, Tamny mischievously asked, “if it’s not regularly shutting down the federal government?” As the “‘responsible stewards of the people’s money,’ shutdown should be a part of the GOP’s readily unsheathed arsenal of weapons meant to always be shrinking the size and scope of our economy-asphyxiating federal government.”

That’s the kind of talk that drives liberals like Lynch and his Times audience up a wall, of course, because it’s not just “’crazy talk’ and unserious bluster,” he writes, but represents “views now being entertained on the radical right, not just in the dark corners of the Internet, but in the sunlight of mainstream forums.” He calls, therefore, for confronting it “by asking a simple question: What are the consequences of this strategy — one that urges us to explicitly pull out of a shared contract of governance?”

Not surprisingly, that “shared contract of governance” carries a lot of weight thereafter in Lynch’s argument — alas, more than it can bear. Thus, the first of his two main concerns is for “the social contract itself,” which “develops out of the idea that if we act as a body, and put aside some …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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