Thursday, December 14, 2017

Choice of Altars

Hillsdale College is a well-respected conservative think-tank in Michigan.  A good friend gave me one of their recent policy opinions to read, which I did gladly.  The gist of it was that the problem with Democrats is that they worship at the altar of identity politics, dividing America instead of unifying it.  The writer argued Democrats are less patriotic than Republicans.  That may be a fair criticism, but it is not a new one.

The Republicans have been criticized for worshiping at the altar of ideology, i.e., if something works in theory, it must therefore work in practice.  An example is the belief that human behavior can be dictated largely by taxes.  Personally, I cannot imagine many normal people actually quitting a job, selling their house, leaving their friends, and moving his family to another state just because of taxes.

Despite this difference between the parties, there is one huge similarity, which is largely ignored.  The majority of both parties don't believe in Keynesian economics nor Supply-side economics.  They believe in Austrian economics, i.e., that budget deficits do indeed matter, contrary to what former Vice President Dick Cheney counseled President George W. Bush.  They don't believe that deficit budgets are required when the economy is good.  They don't believe that tax cuts are necessary when the economy is good.