“Like It Or Not, Obama Is Not The New FDR, But The New Gorbachev”

by John Hawkins | July 21, 2011 5:38 am

The biggest reason the Democratic Party seems so hellbent on spending America into oblivion is that it’s largely a coalition of interest groups that are held together by government largesse. Vote the Democrats in and they’ll give you other people’s money. Cut off the flow of tax dollars and a significant portion of the Dem’s base would have no reason to support the party. This is a point Grover Norquist has been hammering home for years.

Well, Richard Minitier[1] has written a column about the subject as well and as he notes, the gravy train looks to be coming to an end, which is going to mean big, big trouble for the Left in the coming years.

The Democratic Party, as we have known it for the past 70 years, is now in its last days.

…This week’s fight over raising the federal debt limit exposes a key weakness in the warfare-welfare state that has bestowed power onto the Democratic Party: Without an ever-growing share of the economy, it dies. Every vital element of the Democrats’ coalition – unions, government workers, government contractors, “entitlement” consumers – requires constant increases in payments, grants and consulting contracts. Without those payments, they don’t sign checks to re-elect Democrats.

Like it or not, Obama is not the new FDR, but the new Gorbachev: a man forced to preside over the demise of a political system he desperately wants to save.

…The Democrats are a coalition, forged in the New Deal, of diverse interests that do not get along well. Imagine the deer-hunting union member sitting down with the vegetarian college professor and the lesbian lawyer and you will begin to see the trouble party leaders have holding the horde together. So far, money and government preferences have been essential. It is largely a party of unions, government workers and retirees, “green” industries, “entitlement” payees, professors, teachers and social-change activists – all of whom require government payments in one form or another. The only major element of the Democratic base that doesn’t receive government payments is the professional class (lawyers, engineers, stock brokers and so on). These high-earners amount to less than 5% of the population and are not reliable Democrat donors.

…The exception is retirees, who want their Social Security and Medicare while sometimes voting Republican. Since this group is large and reliably votes in large numbers, its entitlements will never be severely trimmed in the foreseeable future. But that fact actually spells trouble for the Democrats. The only way to pay retirees is to 1) raise taxes, 2) borrow more or 3) cut funding to other members of the entitlement class. As I explain below, options one and two are essentially off the table. Option three is a nightmare for Democrats and, if not today then very soon, a political reality.

….With its traditional funding drying up and its core constituencies fading away, the Democrat Party of 2020 will look very different. It will either be smaller or much more centrist. Without federal money to spread, the Democrat Party will have to reinvent itself. It will. The world’s oldest political party knows how to survive.

And it will look back at 2011 as its high point, the year before the tide ran out.

In coming years, the Republican Party is going to have to adjust to a rapidly increasing minority population in America. Since white voters currently vote Republican in much higher numbers than minorities, that demographic change is going to be tough on the GOP. The Democrats’ inability to pay off their coalition members will help even the playing field.

Hat tip to Ace of Spades HQ[2] for the story.

  1. Richard Minitier: http://blogs.forbes.com/richardminiter/2011/07/18/why-the-democratic-party-is-doomed/
  2. Ace of Spades HQ: http://www.ace.mu.nu/

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