Proving Reagan wrong

Byline: | Category: Culture, Economy | Posted at: Friday, 20 February 2009

“Why are they doing all this when they have to know that it isn’t going to work?” was the question my wife asked about the stimulus package.  My answer to her:  “It’s not about fixing the economy; it’s about proving Reagan wrong.”  It’s about proving that an enlightened government is superior to a country led by tens of millions of individual sovereign decision makers.

I’ve lived through the Carter years once before.  As a nation, we’ll survive this again.  Sadly every quarter century or so America has to relearn its lesson. 

All I ask is, please, don’t add insult to injury by bringing back disco.


A link from Glenn Reynolds!  While you’re here, take a look around at some recent posts:

An easy-to-understand primer on how we got here

How big is a trillion?

What can you buy for $800 billion?

BTW, if you’re on Facebook, add me as a friend.

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27 Responses to “Proving Reagan wrong”

  1. Sean Braisted Says:

    Yes, bring back cocaine and leg warmers!!!

    Ed: Ummm . . . that was the 80s. I think you mean polyester and sweat bands.

  2. Sean Braisted Says:

    Wait, I thought you were trying to bring back the 80s?

  3. Martin Kennedy Says:

    I kinda liked John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.

  4. Lee Says:

    Hey, you know how long I’ve been waiting for Foghat to releash their comeback album?

    “Slow ride…. take it easy…”

  5. » Quote of the Day- Bob Krumm Says:

    […] one is a gem from Bob Krumm, concerning what the leftists are up to. It’s about proving that an enlightened government is […]

  6. Sal Says:

    The problem is that each time we go through this excercise, every 25 years or so, we end up sacrificing some of our liberty that we don’t gain back.

    Let’s hope that this time it is so clear that we end up with the ability to roll back all of what is done this time and much of what was done under Clinton, Carter, LBJ, and Roosevelt.

  7. Instapundit » Blog Archive » BOB KRUMM ON the true meaning of “the stimulus.” “It’s not about fixing the economy; it’s about… Says:

    […] KRUMM ON the true meaning of “the stimulus.” “It’s not about fixing the economy; it’s about proving Reagan wrong. It’s about proving […]

  8. SamIam Says:

    Your wife is correct. It’s all about ideology (and paying back constituencies and creating new, permanent ones)

  9. rrr Says:

    Foghat recently updated their song for those who are excited about the stimulus:

    “Free ride . . .”

  10. MarkJ Says:

    “It’s not about fixing the economy; it’s about proving Reagan wrong.”

    Yeah, and our elected Donk d***heads will end up being just as shocked by the failure of their “spendulus package” as Jimmy “Killer Rabbit” Carter was stunned when his pals, the Soviets, invaded Afghanistan.

    Back in the 70’s, some dude claimed, “The revolution will not be televised.” Bulls***. When the conservative revolution comes, it’ll not only be televised…it’ll be YouTubed and blogged as well.

  11. Letalis Maximus, Esq. Says:

    Disco, my ass. The real anthem of the Carter years was some a lot more malicious:

    “I am an anti-Christ,
    and I am an anarchist.
    Don’t know what I want,
    but I know how to get it.
    I wanna destroy passers-by.
    ‘Cause I wanna be,

    And so on and so forth.

  12. Charlie Says:

    When Wieseltier and I were kids, one person in 19 or 20 worked, non-militarily, for the government at some level. Now it’s one in 5 or 6.

    Government jobs create little revenue, much less profit. Therefore, the salaries of government employees must be paid out of tax revenues.

    That means we’ve reached a point where four people’s taxes pay one person’s salary. And that’s before Social Security, Medicare, Defense and repairing a pothole or two.

    When would Weseltier say that government has got too large? Did he not notice that it grew even under the stewardship of Reagan, his bete noire for being wary of government? Does he not believe, since the core of his argument is strong rather than large government, that we could cut mounds of fat from the government and be stronger for it?

    Me? I think that if we all just dig in our heels and fight the growth of government with all our might, it will barely make a difference. We’re headed for a reckoning.

  13. JimK Says:

    There’s something you missed here…I TOTALLY agree that this is about proving Reagan wrong, but as I said here “This is also about training the next two or three generations to be dependent on the federal government. Hence the maneuvering to belittle and marginalize any state government that doesn’t want a federal bailout. If no one expects the federal government to actually be small, there’s no reason to try to make it small, is there?”

    I hope it’s okay to leave that link, BTW…I would have trackbacked but i can’t seem to find a trackback link around here.

  14. Bob Says:

    There’s no such thing as “enlightened government.”
    Everything the government does is a compromise between [internal] factions, which pretty much
    wipes out any chance of enlightenment occuring, much less leaving a record of having happened.


  15. Borris Says:

    Well, I have to admit 70s porn was the best.

  16. John Says:

    The title is wrong, it should be Proving the Founders Wrong. We’ve heard this time and time again from Democrats, how free people are not capable of doing the right thing so we need our masters to tell us. The difference is this time they are not even disguising that they are Marxists.

  17. Real American Says:

    Wieseltier wrote “that strong government comports well with strong freedom”

    uh…freedom from what?

    /checks Constitution.

  18. eor Says:

    Wish I was as optimistic that the economy (and America) will survive the abuse it is about to take. Everybody seems to think this is some sort of reversible game. Somethings that get broke stay broke.

  19. Olive Says:

    I saw the handwriting on the wall when Candies mules and other platform atrocities returned to shoe departments three years. “Who on God’s green earth would want to relive the Carter years?” the salesclerk and I laughed (as I bought a pair of sensible Josef Siebels). Sadly, now we both know.

  20. Detroit Rock City Says:

    I was born in the first year of the 1970s but grew up during the 80s. My memory of the 1970s is people turning inward (probably because public life was just too ghastly to face). I remember the gas lines of course, and the hyperinflation, and I know the mortgage on my parents first house was well into double digits. But what I remember most was the way the culture – disco, punk, movies (Jaws, Star Wars, Close Encounters) – was pretty ferociously either escapist or nihilistic. It was either ‘escape to another planet’ or ‘burn everything down’. Oh, and Borris is right: 70s porn was the best, no question about it.

  21. Joe Y Says:

    I have to disagree — it’s not about proving Reagan wrong, because Obama and the people involved have never even considered the possibility that Reagan may have ever been right.

    The oddest thing about this election, to me, was the continual leitmotif of Obama’s genius, from people that should have known better.I’ll spare the armchair sociology and just state that people of the Obama ilk, of which I know and am related to far too many, are unable to seriously consider that there is any job—oil company CEO, football coach, running the local post office—that they cannot do as well or better than the person currently in the role, should they ever exert the effort to do so. It’s not a matter of faith, as faith requires a conscious effort; rather, it is a prejudice in the true sense of the word.

    To apply this to the current situation, they believe that the government is better at running the country, because the solution to the problem, whatever the problem, is just so obvious. From their point of view, for example, the Stimulus package’s providing for a comprehensive national medical database is obviously a good idea. To quote directly from the person I was talking about this with, “Only idiots, paranoids, and Republicans—but I repeat myself—want to stop this…” She then gave the several well-known and excellent reasons for the database, concluding with, “Who could be against that?” I replied that no one could, but what about the hundreds of thousands of medical personnel who have potential access to the database? What about the innumerable terrifying stunts that hackers, and not just American hackers, have been able to pull off in attacks on supposedly invulnerable networks? What about people not reporting medical conditions because they don’t want a record of them? What about erroneous data being mistakenly entered? What about erroneous data being deliberately entered? Of course, that was just a start.
    To her credit, she got what I was saying, particularly when I applied it to our respective teenage children, but the fact that what a few minutes consideration would reveal to most people was foreign to her—“What could go wrong? It’s so obvious!” – was not because she was stupid (quite the opposite), but out of a prejudice that the she and people like can see the solution to any problem, which why they always attack people who disagree with them as “stupid,” morons,” “idiots,” etc.

    There is one major exception to this attitude, which is in the field that the person in question occupies. Then they are as smart and good as advertised, but rarely anywhere else.

    This brings us to the President. Obama’s clearly a very bright man, as, of course, anyone who becomes president has to be, but there are a lot of smart guys around, and while he gives a marvelous television performance of an intellectual, if he’s ever shown any genuine evidence of such, I would be grateful if someone would link to it. Like most Ivy leaguers, he’s a smart operator and a dedicated hustler obsessed with accomplishment. And like almost all Harvard men and women, he lacks an aptitude for self-doubt and humility, which people usually, and a bit unfairly, mistake for Harvard arrogance. And he’s superb at his chosen field; but that field is not being President, it is becoming President.

    It seems that every commentator I read, left, right, or “realistic,” is waiting for Obama to stop doing whatever they dislike and start doing what they believe he is really going to do, whether it is increasing taxes or lowering them, gutting the military or imposing a tough foreign policy, nationalizing the financial and medical industries or beginning pro-business policies, etc. Well, I have news: What you see is what there is, and all there will be. Stop thinking Carter and FDR and start thinking LBJ’s Great Society, because that’s his real frame of reference. Why, he may even be able to get us into a pointless land war in Asia to demonstrate that he’s even tougher than his predecessor, that undeserving rich boy whose father and connections won him the presidency.

    It’s going to be a long 2 or 3 years until the Democrats realize what they’ve gotten themselves into allow him to be impeached.

  22. Mike Says:

    “It’s not about fixing the economy; it’s about proving Reagan wrong.”

    Yes! I completely agree. The hatred of Reagan is the ur-pathology in all of this. It goes back decades. It is the best explanation for the punishing attack on the entire American system and all Americans that Democrats (true sociopaths to a man and woman) are implementing right now.

    This is some sort of Greek Tragedy where the psycho rejected brother returns to destroy the city.

    Democrats are right now – as we speak – setting about to destroy the Shining City on a Hill that is America. We had better stop the psycho bastards or they will surely wreck the greatest country the earth has yet seen.

  23. Andrew_M_Garland Says:

    Here is a view of the Stimulus Plan from the bottom up. What it means for an individual to be told that the government wants to spend more. Funny, if it weren’t true.

    The Department of GDP
    You can spend, or government will do it for you.

    —- Quote —–

    Official: Good. (flips through manila folder) Now, I see that you don’t go to restaurants enough. Why is that?

    Joe: My wife is a great cook. We eat at home most of the time. I even like cooking with her sometimes, and the kids help too.

    Official: Yes, that comes up a lot. People are denying themselves the pleasures of fine dining. You can see how this decreases employment and GDP. From now on, you will dine out at least twice per week, with the kids please.
    —- /Quote —–

  24. CJ Says:

    “There is one major exception to this attitude, which is in the field that the person in question occupies. Then they are as smart and good as advertised, but rarely anywhere else.”

    That reminds me of Robert Conquest’s Laws of Politics, one of which holds that everyone is a conservative about what he knows best. Unfortunately, as you observed, it’s scary how Obamanoids really don’t even know what they don’t know.

  25. jt007 Says:

    Bob hit the nail on the head. Democrats would rahter vindicate their egos than do the right thing. I have often wondered how seemingly intelligent people could advocate socialist ideas like nationalizing health care. All of my liberal economic professors in college knew that Capitalism leads to much greater prosperity than communism/socialism and they know that power corrupts. Larry Summers and Geithner know this as well. Limosuine liberals know that bigger government, more regulation and higher taxes are abominable which is why they do everything they can to avoid all of those things for themselves while advocating them for everyone else.

    They just don’t care how harmful socialism is. Liberals believe that they are superior to others. In their own mind they are smarter, more open minded, more compassionate and more tolerant. Being a democrat is a manifestation of their presumed superiority. They would rather win the political battle than do what is best for everyone.

  26. Jamie Says:

    Joe Y, may I sit at your feet? Your “It seems that every commentator I read, left, right, or ‘realistic,’ is waiting for Obama to stop doing whatever they dislike and start doing what they believe he is really going to do” is the most cogent formulation of the Rorschach-blotness of the Obamanomenon I’ve yet read. I vacillate between despair and hope: will those who elected the Obama they wanted to believe in actually realize that he’s an agent himself, not subject to their beliefs, wishes, and whims and possibly not in agreement with them, or not?

  27. Robert Says:

    My question is.. why.. Why do we have to relearn our lesson. We aren’t a nation of fools. We have smart people in this country. Every time we go through this, we lose valuable years of progress, we lose jobs, and we are FORCED to take a step back because of incompetent voters.

    Obama pits Democracy against the hallows of a stone wall and beats it until blood drips down the stony craves.

    His next move will be setting our space program back to the 1970’s, creating less than 2 million jobs, making our debt higher, saying hope and change is awesome, and lying through his teeth.

    You dems often say Bush was a terrible, war criminal, evil, Nazi like man. Yeah, well at least Bush has principle. Obama has socialism and a couple thousand testosterone laden young dolts.