Sat, 07 Mar 2009 20:47:54 +0000 – "Stuff the beast!"
Douthat's argument is that the Obamans intend to create so many new federal entitlement programs--health care (most obviously), but also elements of the "stimulus" package, plus "green energy," etc.--that taxes will have to go up, eventually, big time. For his part, Douthat labels this strategy, "The Pursuit of Social Democracy"--as in, the pursuit of the politico-economic policies of Western Europe, which most American liberals yearn to bring to the United States.
So that was "starve the beast." But now, as Kaus and Douthat explain, today the plan is the opposite: "stuff the beast." That is, raise federal spending now and higher taxes for everyone will have to follow. And voila! we'll get social democracy.
Interestingly, the essence of this argument point was confirmed by David Brooks, a mostly pro-Obama columnist for The New York Times. Brookssummarized his recent conversations with Obama White House officials, declaring that President Obama:
...is extremely committed to entitlement reform and is plotting politically feasible ways to reduce Social Security as well as health spending. The White House folks didn't say this, butI got the impression they'd be willing to raise taxes on the bottom 95 percent of earners as part of an overall package."[emphasis added]
There you have it: We already knew that Obama wants to raise taxes, substantially, on the top 5 percent of earners. And now we know that he and his people want to raise taxes on 100 percent of us.
That's stuffing the beast--with your tax dollars.