Friday, August 24, 2007

Asking Half A Question

The British magazine Economist wonders if America is in the process of a big left political turn. To substantiate that impression they cited an issue survey of Americans, which produced at least one detail that didn't fit the template - at least at first glance:

Americans remain sceptical about the Democrats' favourite tool for improving the world—government action. A Democracy Corps poll found that Americans believe by a majority of 57% to 29% that government makes it harder for people to get ahead in life. The same poll found that 83% of people believe that, if the government had more money, it would probably waste it, the highest level of anti-government sentiment in a decade. America is not entering into a new era of liberal activism.
J-Ger thinks the GOP presidential field can make some hay with that. I think we need to remember that Americans define "government wasting money" as spending on any program other than the ones they like. And since there's virtually no such thing as an American that believes that ALL spending on ANYTHING not specifically stipulated in the Constitution as a federal responsibility is "waste," there will never be a consensus broad enough to EVER make a dent in the gargantuan federal budget. Which is precisely why the budget continues to spiral ever upward even in the midst of the "post-Big Government" era.

We may not be entering into "a new era of liberal activism" if by that is meant the Robert Mugabean nationalization of the American economy, but we're not exactly in the midst of a conservative/constitutionalist reformation, either.

The former, though, is a lot more likely than the latter.