Within weeks of the 2006 mid term elections Dick Morris made a very intuitive comment. He said that voters were ultimately rejecting government in general but that since the Republicans were in charge they would face the brunt of the wrath. In my opinion, not much has changed since. Voters have punished Republicans for their failure to govern effectively, but beyond this, they don't trust government at all.
As such, the Democrats' platform is not only counter intuitive but will likely soon blow up on them. It seems the Democrats answer to all our problems is even more government. So far, the public has accepted this for two reasons 1) because they threw the bums out and this is the alternative and 2) because all the Democrats alternatives have been theoretical. Yet, theory stops on January 20th and reality hits.
The public may like universal health care, after school education, and public works in theory, but once they see a bloated and incompetent government they will likely reject all these ideas. Furthermore, if Republicans get back to their fiscally conservative roots, they will be there to offer a small government alternative.
Let's just examine what the Democrats are about to unleash on the public. Not only is Barack Obama about to spend $350 billion on TARP but he wants another $825 billion in stimulus money. These projects include roads, education, food stamps, real estate, alternative energy. The government is going to oversee all of them.
Furthermore, Barack Obama has promised transparency. Of course, such a massive project will be transparent the way Enron was transparent. By nature, such massive spending programs can't be transparent. This money goes from the Feds, to the states, to municipalities, and then they dole it out to private companies. Even if Obama puts all of this on the internet, it will be a giant and complicated mess. Following all of this money is sort of like following all of the shell companies that Enron created.
Furthermore, the worst part of big government is that it is inherently corrupt. Even with good intentions, corruption is always the natural end. Most of these projects wind up having a private company at the receiving millions. Those in a position to receive millions invariably have financial pull that leads to political pull. Even if ultimately the relationship is innocent, the ones receiving the money will have almost certainly attempted to buy political influence at some point. Furthermore, ultimately, many states and localities will be in charge of distributing this money. While Obama's administration may in fact be totally clean, many of the states and localities that receive their money aren't. Soon enough, many of these billions will be tied to corruption.
Of course, TARP and the stimulus is only the beginning of Obama's big government plans. He then wants to create universal health care, sponsor alternative energy, climate change, as well as "a new regulatory framework". Once the public gets a good dose of what it really means to have expansive government, their response to a never ending expansion won't be pleasant. Yet, that's all the Democrats offer. If the Democrats have their way, government will expand everywhere exponentially. The public is inherently against this. In fact, in most ways, the threw the Republicans out exactly because they governed like this. The Democrats are attempting to govern in a way that is antithesis to what the public wants. Now more than ever, the public distrusts the government. They don't like government. Yet, the Democrats are about to give the public a heavy dose of more government.
Only time will tell how this all plays out, but mark my words, this will very soon explode on the Democrats and if Republicans are wise they are there to pick up the pieces.
Please check out my new books, "Bullied to Death: Chris Mackney's Kafkaesque Divorce and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and the World's Last Custody Trial"