John Weidner over at Random Jottings  speaks today to the complaints by Libertarian purists about the Republicans. Weidner argues… and I agree… that libertarians shoot htemselves in the foot when complaining about Bush;
There’s something missing here (And I’m partly quoting myself  from this post about Bill Quick’s recent similar argument. Sorry, time is short). I don’t like the lard either, but in both cases Bush traded (and this was at a time when we didn’t control the Senate) spending increases for important components of the Ownership Society. The Medicare bill included HSA’s, and NCLB included the parental-choice provisions.
What’s the thinking behind the Ownership Society? First, that shrinking the government isn’t going to happen. Not now, not never. Every law, subsidy, tax-break or program creates a constituency that will fight to preserve that bit of big government. It’s a trap that liberals have created for us, and no number of grumbling fiscal conservatives will ever get us out of it.
BUT, there is a way out of the trap. Even though Social Security (to take just one example) is a big-government program, any diversion of dollars into Private Accounts is, effectively, shrinking government. And that creates a trap of the opposite sort, one that will make people want more and more privatization as they start to see their accounts grow. (Or, similarly, more and more choice over which school your kids go to. Or more ability to just choose any medical service you want and pay it yourself without consulting any bureaucracy)
That’s why the Left is fighting private accounts so bitterly.
Indeed. It seems to me passing strange that the hardcore libtarians can’t seem to bring themselves to recognize the impact that the ownership society would have in working us as a people back toward the goals libertarians claim to espouse.
The left recognizes it as a serious threat to the nanny state.
Why can’t the libertarians?