The Corner

Managing the Liberal State More “Efficiently”

Andy’s right. This is the wrong turf on which to fight. Indeed, it is a depressingly European argument — that the “right”-of-”center” party can through sheer attention to detail make the left-wing state run more efficiently. You never can. The ratchet effect of Big Government is such that the minute you turn your back it resumes its inexorable growth.

Any credible Republican candidate should be proposing the closing or wholesale privatization of departments, bureaus, and agencies. If you’re not, you’re not serious.

My imminently forthcomingly imminent forthcoming book has a consistent message — that the projections for this and that for 2030, 2050, 2080 are all irrelevant. We have half-a-decade to turn this around. If we really intend (as is apparently foreseen by our bipartisan saviors) to add $7–10 trillion to the debt by 2020, then America is over — because clearly there is no intention ever to repay that money, and the world will make its dispositions accordingly.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the U.S. secretary of education is the only education minister in the developed world with his personal SWAT team. That’s to say, only in America can education bureaucrats execute warrants and kick your door down and stick a gun in your face. It’s not a question of “capping” the rate of growth of the budget of the SWAT team. Nor of scrapping the SWAT team. It’s about abolishing an entirely superfluous government department.

The Democrats want to plunge over the cliff at full throttle. Too many Republicans think it will be fine as long as we go over the edge in third gear.

One final thought: Victor Davis Hanson has a poignant vignette today — the death of Denise McVay, a member of California’s dwindling productive class murdered by one of the ever swollen ranks of a leisured underclass. Read the offensively fatalistic shrug of a statement from what passes for law enforcement in that state. Anyone who thinks a post-prosperity America is in for genteel post-war Euro-style decline is deluded.  

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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