14 January 2009

The New Populism...From the Right?

Political journalist David Weigel takes a gander at new ideas for conservatives and links to possible populist uprising on the right. From RCP:

With the recession forecast to deepen throughout this year, we are going to learn more about how crooked, or at least unethical, corporate and financial bigs drove this country to near-ruin with their reckless avarice. Because of this crisis, President-elect Barack Obama warned last week that the nation faces "trillion-dollar deficits for years to come."

As Michael Lewis and David Einhorn recently explained in a New York Times column, we got to this terrible place through a political system that served the Wall Street elite at the expense of ordinary people.
I agree! The conspiracy between big Wall Street banks and the federal government to totally fleece the American people with this bailout crap would have made Mr. Burns blush. Of course we don't even know which corporations are slurping at the public troff. This is kind of what was decent about Ron Paul who advocated (*gasp*) balancing the budget and stopping the endless printing of money by the Fed. The blimp was merely a bonus.

But the editorialist quickly descends into the old ways that don't apply in our post-9/11 world:
He thinks America ought to keep its nose out of other countries' business. He believes that the tax code ought to be restructured to favor families and companies that stay put instead of moving offshore. But most of all, he says, neo-populists of the right have to fight the concentration of both corporate and government power.
Failed states provide a haven for transnational extremists to wage their war on civilization. I don't think we can just turn a blind eye, wall off our borders, and hope for the best. The point about tax codes favoring "families" is another form of trying to woo votes that results in social engineering of American culture. The tax laws to write off mortgage debt has had the indirect consequence of littering our country with shitty cookie-cutter homes and partially contributed to the financial apocalypse. Some good ideas here, but I ain't buying just yet.