The year was 1954.
Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower came to the conclusion that it was time for Republicans to stop with all the "abolish" the New Deal talk:
Now it is true that I believe this country is following a dangerous trend when it permits too great a degree of centralization of governmental functions. I oppose this--in some instances the fight is a rather desperate one.So Eisenhower knew that the programs were "dangerous"....but...
There's always a 'but':
Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.In other words, Eisenhower was essentially saying "Look Republican comrades, do you want to continue to loot the public or not? Let the 'splinter groups' talk about abolishment."
And so, Republicans would stop with the "abolishment" talk and turn into "reformers". Republicans and Democrats would then just tag-team in-and-out every couple of years, and manage The New Deal programs. It's now 2014, and we're still suffocating under their weight.
Speaking of 2014...
In recent years, Republicans would put on another performance. This time with "abolishing" Obamacare. By golly, if you elect the Republicans, they will get rid of it! Their word is their bond!
As could be expected, the tune is already changing. Here comes James (we need more inflation) Pethokoukis with a piece titled: "More evidence the GOP needs to move beyond Obamacare repeal".
Eureka! There's "evidence"!
And so, in keeping with the historic script, Pethokoukis asks the following question towards the end of his piece (my emphasis):
So what would Obamacare reform look like?Republicans gave it the 'ole college try, right? Let the 'tiny splinter group' worry about repealing Obamacare. It's time to reform and play the tag-team game with the Democrats.
Republicans will never shrink government, and as Laurence Vance pointed out yesterday: "The only limited government Republicans desire is a government limited to one controlled by Republicans."
Let's not give a pass to Democrats on this charade either. They play the same exact game. When Republicans are in power and are turning the Earth into a warzone inferno, and ratcheting up the police state at home, Democrats put on their performance with the same level of skill.
By golly, if you elect the Democrats, they will "end" the wars and police state surveillance.
Once in power, some left-wing version of Pethokoukis inevitably provides "evidence" that the wars and surveillance shouldn't be abolished, that abolishment should be left to the 'tiny splinter groups,' and that Democrats turn into "reformers".
Democrats will never shrink government either.
So if government will never shrink itself, what's left?
Perhaps the general public will need to latch on to some different ideas. After all, government cannot grow forever. Economics won't allow it.
I bet the ideas expressed in Lew Rockwell's upcoming book will be very important for Americans to understand.
Chris Rossini is on Twitter