You have to give the Republicans credit: They know how to create problems.
Take the current fiscal mess. Republicans have cut revenues — notably by cutting taxes for people who don’t need tax relief — spent billions on unpaid-for wars, deregulated us into a financial meltdown (thereby lowering tax revenues) — and now are hollering about the looming deficit.
This is not an accident. Republicans have created an enormous deficit as part of a larger plan to eliminate the programs of the New Deal and the Great Society. These programs were created because capitalism, for all its wealth-creating virtues, tends to unequal distribution of wealth, concentration of power in private hands, and ultimately the brutalization of society. In order for capitalism to survive, society must mitigate its negative effects.
To put it in a slogan, big government counterbalances big business.
Now, it may be that Paul Ryan does not see all this, and sincerely believes that American government is somehow more pernicious than say, the government of Germany, which somehow manages to have a large government and a thriving private sector.
Or it may be that all the deficit hawkishness is a trojan horse to establish an old-school oligarchy in the U.S.
For my part, I think a social system controlled by the voting public is better than one controlled by people who are simply better at making money than most people.
But to return to the fiscal crisis, all we need to restore the country’s finances is responsible taxation, avoiding costly wasteful wars, and putting a bridle back on the financial sector.
And we can do it without putting the elderly out on the street.