Back in 2006, then-Congressman Rahm Emanuel (Democrat-Illinois) and Bruce Reed published a book called The Plan: Big Ideas For America (New York: Public Affairs, 2006 ISBN 13:978-1-58648-412-5). Emanuel is now White House Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama. As such, he serves as a gatekeeper on access to President Obama. His views certainly are of interest to this libertarian.
Emanuel and Reed are Clintonite Democrats. What do they propose? 1) Universal citizen service, not limited to military service. 2) Universal college access. They mean at the tapayer’s expense. 3) Universal Retirement Savings. "From now on, every job ought to come with a 401(k)" 4) Universal children’s health care. They mean at the tapayer’s expense. 5)
"A return to fiscal responsibility and an end to corporate welfare as we know it. 6) "Tax reform to help thos who aren’t wealthy build wealth." 7) A new strategy to win the war on terror. They propose expanding the Army and Marines. 8) A hybrid economy that cuts America’s gasoline use in half.
With regard to deficits and corporate welfare they sound almost libertarian. "There are three levers to get the deficit back under control: Get rid of programs and privileges we don’t need anymore; close loopholes that let some distort the marekt; and put the economy back on a path of sustained, broad-based economic growth.
Let’s look beyond the rhetoric. Emanuel supported the Wall Street bailout and the automaker’s bailout.
Except for the rhetorical fluorish about corporate welfare the Emanuel-Reed plan’s (www.readtheplan.com), expand the Federal government’s scope, size, and cost. There are alternatives. See Congressman Ron Paul, MD and his book The Revolution: A Manifesto (New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2008 ISBN-13:978-0-446-53751-3 and ISBN-10:0-446-53751-9). Full disclosure: I was a Ron Paul delegate candidate in 2008. A very detailed plan by a number of contributors is available from the Cato Institute
Nowhere do Emanuel and Reed cite constitutional authorization for their spending programs. Let us hope that President Obama actually curbs corporate welfare and tosses The Plan in the trash. -30-
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