It is no secret that this website generally likes Mr. Stockman and his analysis. Though I would take issue with a couple points in the attached essay. For instance Stockman calls Dodd-Frank “pointless” and not particularly worthy of attack. I disagree. I think it is definitely worthy of attack. However Stockman is very right that in the grand scheme Dodd-Frank is relatively small potatoes, which is just sad.
Stockman also to my surprise says that a VAT tax might not be a bad idea (though one must look at how he couches this proposal, it’s not just to add more revenue to a failing system) and I don’t agree with this.
However, Stockman lays out the issues many of us in the small government camp have with Paul Ryan quite nicely. Despite being held up by a left leaning old media as some sort of champion of the free market, Ryan certainly is not this. He is unfortunately of the Bushie Big Government (BBG) strain of Republican versus the Goldwater “Liberty is no Vice” strain which is what he has been characterized as, and which incidentally much of America is crying out for.
Ryan voted for TARP, the Auto Bailout, and Medicare Part D. Not very “small government.” Not very conservative.
(From Stockman’s Piece)
Thirty years of Republican apostasy — a once grand party’s embrace of the welfare state, the warfare state and the Wall Street-coddling bailout state — have crippled the engines of capitalism and buried us in debt. Mr. Ryan’s sonorous campaign rhetoric about shrinking Big Government and giving tax cuts to “job creators” (read: the top 2 percent) will do nothing to reverse the nation’s economic decline and arrest its fiscal collapse.
Mr. Ryan professes to be a defense hawk, though the true conservatives of modern times — Calvin Coolidge, Herbert C. Hoover, Robert A. Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower, even Gerald R. Ford — would have had no use for the neoconconservative imperialism that the G.O.P. cobbled from policy salons run by Irving Kristol’s ex-Trotskyites three decades ago. These doctrines now saddle our bankrupt nation with a roughly $775 billion “defense” budget in a world where we have no advanced industrial state enemies and have been fired (appropriately) as the global policeman.
Indeed, adjusted for inflation, today’s national security budget is nearly double Eisenhower’s when he left office in 1961 (about $400 billion in today’s dollars) — a level Ike deemed sufficient to contain the very real Soviet nuclear threat in the era just after Sputnik. By contrast, the Romney-Ryan version of shrinking Big Government is to increase our already outlandish warfare-state budget and risk even more spending by saber-rattling at a benighted but irrelevant Iran.”