Thursday, August 12, 2010

Our Choice: Parasitism vs Self-Responsibility

In discussing Rep. Paul Ryan's Roadmap, a WSJ editorial quotes Obama:
The main liberal policy objection, to the extent a serious one exists, is that the roadmap would "cut working folks loose so they've got to fend for themselves," as President Obama described the supposed Republican economic philosophy at a Chicago fundraiser last week.
Yes, that's exactly right. Working folks — and everyone else — would ultimately have to fend for themselves, and no longer be in a position to suck off the teat of the State forever. (Actually, Ryan's Roadmap does no such thing, unfortunately, but that's fodder for a different post.)

For all his many vices, Obama understands — if only instinctively — the basic moral issue so much better than most conservatives it isn't funny. He knows the choice we face today — and the debate underlying most contemporary political hot-button issues: independence or State control, self-reliance or welfare, coerced Comtean altruism or Madisonian freedom.

In short, we can continue down the road believing — as Obama has so much as said on many occasions — it's moral to force Americans to be their brother's keeper, or we can turn once again to liberty. Arguments over the details of the economic impact of tax rates, vouchers, and the like do more to obscure than enlighten that debate.

It's Progressivism or individual rights, parasitism or fending for ourselves. The belief that we can continue for another two generations down the middle way is just a delusion.

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