The GOP’s Impending Great Betrayal, Part III

The new GOP Ways and Means Committee Chairman’s militant stand against unavoidable cuts in Social Security and Medicare, as we outlined in Part 2, can perhaps be chalked off to the greenhorn factor.

After all, he’s only been in Congress 10 years!

And what with all the fund-raising and trips back to the district, perhaps he has not had time to educate himself about the iron-clad facts of the looming bankruptcy of the trust funds and the related overall fiscal calamity heading our way.

But you can’t say that for the other three GOP perps we targeted in Part 1. Between them, they have 65 years on the public teat at the Federal and state level, led by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers. She’s the new chair person of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, who got on the public payroll right out of college in 1991 and has been collecting a stipend from the taxpayers ever since.

We pick on Rep. Rogers because she is a very senior Republican, former chairman of the GOP caucus in the US House and now heads the same Energy and Commerce Committee on which your editor served during the dark days of Jimmy Carter.

That bit of history is perhaps relevant here. The Carterites and much of official Washington back then said we had an “energy crisis” owing to “market failures” and that we therefore needed sweeping state regulatory interventions and deep tax and fiscal subsidies to ween the US economy from its “addiction” to imported oil, and to push homegrown synthetic fuels and “conservation” energy into the economy, whether consumers and businesses wanted it or not.

Of course, the whole predicate was plain humbug. There was no shortage of energy or market failure, but actually a shortage of free market adjustments, which had been thwarted by the bipartisan panic about oil imports after the short-lived and essentially inconsequential Arab-oil embargo of 1973.

In any event, we didn’t buy the predicate and did work assiduously to remove the statist regulatory and fiscal shackles that stood in the way of the time-tested truism. To wit, that the solution to the “high” energy prices and shortages of the late 1970s was, well, high prices…

David Stockman

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