“The Tea Party and the Entitlement Fight”

Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. writes:

Not appreciated is the powerful new meme Mr. Obama has handed them, which will transform entitlement politics in our country.  The new “conservative” position will be to defend Social Security and Medicare,those middle-class rewards for a life of hard work and tax-paying, against Mr. Obama’s vast expansion of the means-tested welfare state for working-age Americans.

This will discomfit traditional free marketers.  They know Medicare and Social Security are generous in excess to the taxes that beneficiaries paid into them.

Indeed, good conservatives of a certain feather disapprove of universal entitlements because they are universal, believing government interventions should be need-based and temporary if possible.

But this reformist conservatism (to which your columnist also subscribes) appears to have had its last hurrah…Look for means testing possibly even to evolve into a new pejorative in Republican mouths, suggesting undeserved benefits for groups that mostly vote Democrat.

Here is a (possibly gated) link, in any case there is also news.google.com.


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