New Jersey Gov. Christie yesterday presented a budget that cuts state spending by 5 percent. New Jersey Democratic legislators, the New York Times says, "were quick to characterize Mr. Christie's proposal as falling disproportionately on the backs of the middle class, the poor, the elderly, schoolchildren, college students and inner-city residents, while leaving largely unscathed the wealthy and most businesses." Gosh, did the Democrats leave any interest group out? Did they fail to demonize anyone that it should have?
I suppose the catchall "wealthy and business" pretty much nails everyone it should. But why not point out in the first few column inches that Christie's budget would pair NJ state works --- about 65,000 strong --- by just 1,300. The article seems --- somehow --- to sympathize with the Democrats' position. The article doesn't ask why government spending should be able to grow year in and year out without fail no matter what the economic climate.
This is the problem with today's post-New Deal America: The gub'ment (say in 'yer' best Michigan Militia accent) is the host and the public is the client. FDR was expert (and credited by Amity Shlaes in her book The Forgotten Man) at identifying and pandering to social groups --- see the above bit about the elderly, the so-called middle class and et al.), that is, paying people. "Vote for me and here is your check, entitlement or tax break. I'll get the money by seizing it from whomever is temporarily out of favor." Whatever happened to the "minority of one?" There are no groups, just individuals. No single business or "minority group" should be singled out to be favored or punished. It's ridiculous that government employment should continue to rise even during tough times, as it has recently, even as private business was forced to lay people off. The Times seems to support the idea that government should be a permanent growth industry, despite the fact that Americans don't want so much gub'ment control and, besides, we can't afford the generous pensions that public employees enjoy but few private workers receive.