February 6, 2015

CONSERVATISM IS THATCHERITE, NOT REAGANITE:

Is Jeb Bush just another 'big government' liberal? (Craig Shirley February 6, 2015, Reuters)

Then President George W. Bush took office and rolled out compassionate conservatism, viewed by conservatives as yet another rebuke of Reagan's brand of conservatism. Because compassionate conservatism also meant "big government Republicanism."

Bush's varied programs included No Child Left Behind, nation-building in faraway lands and unnecessary wars, bloated farm and transportation bills, and the explosive growth of medical welfare for senior citizens. Combined, they were a vehicle to blow a hole in the budget, squandering the $280-billion surplus left by Clinton. (The Clinton administration had projected this surplus would increase to close to $5 trillion within a decade.) The GOP Congress -- at Bush's bidding -- greatly expanded government and increased the national debt.

The Reagan legacy had it's great points : defeating inflation, defeating the Soviet Union; and innaugurating a new era of emphasis on free trade.

Unfortunately, but understandably, the Gipper was also the last defender of the New Deal.  When it came to social policies like Social Security, he sought to preserve what FDR had wrought.  Even while Margaret Thatcher was following the Friedman/Pinochet model of reform in Great Britain and privatizing the social welfare net along Third Way lines, President Reagan remained wedded to the Second Way.  Jeb will indeed by like W, not like Reagan. 

Posted by at February 6, 2015 4:46 PM
  

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