I remember when W. ran for president in 2000 on the platform of Compassionate Conservatism. The idea was that Republicans would embrace many of the social programs that helped the needy while still maintaining their free-market orientation. It was supposed to be a way to win an election, help the poor, and still scale back government. It worked on the first count. I’m not sure about the second. The third was a terrible failure. Let’s face it. We are in big trouble with our national debt. Compassionate Conservatism didn’t help. Hope and Change made it worse.
The self-evident problem is that we spend more money that we have. A lot more. Even if we embraced the President’s proposal to tax the richest 1% of Americans at a higher rate, it still doesn’t close the gap. Either we start taxing many more people at a much higher rate, or we come to the conclusion that we can’t sustain this any longer. Having spent last week watching the RNC convention in Tampa, I’m hopeful we might have turned a corner.