Dorothy Rabinowtz has an opinion piece in today’s Wall Street Journal online edition titled “The Republican Who Can Win.” Her main thesis is a Republican who “scares” people cannot be elected prsident. Instead they need to address pocketbook issues and not discuss abstractions like budget deficits or lack of funding for social security.
I do not agree, and I think she is underestimating how much the average voter is upset about the upcoming shortfalls in one-third increase in federal government spending in the last two years with nothing to show for it but a huge debt.
The passage that seems the most wrong-headed to me is:
The Republican who wants to win would avoid talk of the costs that our spendthrift ways, particularly benefits like Social Security, are supposedly heaping on future generations. He would especially avoid painting images of the pain Americans feel at burdening their children and grandchildren. This high-minded talk, rooted in fantasy, isn’t going to warm the hearts of voters of mature age—and they are legion—who feel no such pain.
I don’t understand “… are supposedly heaping on future generations.” Is she saying social security is fully funded so it will not be running a deficit, or is she acknowledging it is not funded but someone other than our children and grandchildren will cover the deficit?
But what really bothered me was “This high-minded talk, rooted in fantasy…” One of us is fantasizing, and I think it is the one of us that thinks everything is copacetic.
I think people outside NYC/DC understand how messed up this is, and they do not want to heap debt on their kids and grandkids. If a politician explained this clearly and asked everyone to sacrifice, they would gain credibility and electability.