The Therapy Sessions
Saturday, January 03, 2004
If the Democrats do indeed nominate Mr. Dean and make the Dean tax the underlying economic message of their party, that would be good news for Republicans, but awful news for sound economic policy making in Washington. It will signal once and for all that the Democrats have gone off the deep end on economics and no longer believe a word of John F. Kennedy's message of 40 years ago that higher tax rates "will never produce enough revenues to balance the budget, nor enough jobs" to put Americans back to work.
How clear could this lesson be? JFK's and Clintons win elections. Teddy Kennedys (like Mondale, Dukakis, Gore v2.0 (after v1.0 (Tennesee's Favorite Son) had been thoroughly marinated in Washington's Democratic Party), Kerry and Dean) lose.
Not clear enough for the hard headed Democrats.
George Will hopes (as do I) that Bush re-election with a stronger Republican majority in both the House and Senate may be very good news for the future:
When you turned the page on the calendar Wednesday night, the first page of 2004 should have had printed - in large letters, in red ink - this insomnia-producing warning: "DEMOGRAPHY IS DESTINY AND IT IS NOW JUST FOUR YEARS BEFORE THE DEMOGRAPHIC DELUGE - THE BEGINNING OF THE RETIREMENT OF 77 MILLION BABY BOOMERS..."
...Howard Dean could be the catalyst of a conservative legislative majority which, although probably evanescent, might be emboldened to begin coming to grips with this:
The Baby Boom generation is twice as large as the generation it follows and 50 percent larger than the one that is following it. By 2030, the nation's population will be older than Florida's is today. Unless there are politically difficult changes, such as raising the retirement age, there will be twice as many retirees as there are today...
To begin dealing with all this, President Bush needs two things. One is the emancipation from re-election concerns that comes with a second term and the 22nd Amendment foreclosing a third. The other is an enlarged legislative majority to work with before he begins to be, after 2006, a seriously lame duck.
One can only hope.