Columnist David Frum buys what Washington’s establishment is selling. Consider the seven theses of his recent screed, “Wake up GOP”:
- “Unemployment is a more urgent problem than debt.” Maybe. So what are you going to do about it — accumulate more debt to fund unstimulating stimulus packages, as mass unemployment calcifies?
- “The deficit is a symptom of America’s economic problems, not a cause.” Sure, the deficit is worse because of decreased revenues. But deficits were high before the bust, and debt was increasing. Deficits are a symptom of a governance problem.
- “The time to cut is after the economy recovers.” So why didn’t politicians — Frum’s beloved Republicans, while he was personal manservant to George W. Bush — cut spending before the bust?
- “The place to cut is health care, not assistance to the unemployed and poor.” The place to cut is over-spending everywhere. Pentagon. The medical-industrial complex. “Discretionary spending.” And start by freezing the baseline spending. And cut federal salaries across the board.
- “We can collect more revenue without raising tax rates.” Uh, maybe “we” shouldn’t raise revenues! And yet establishing a simpler, flat income tax rate probably would raise revenues, so . . .
- “Passion does not substitute for judgment.” Yes. And it’s about time Frum showed some of the latter.
- “You can’t save the system by destroying the system.” If the system has put America on a crash course with disaster, then that system must be replaced. With a better one.
It’s arguments like Frum’s that stand in the way.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.