texas-tribune-ruprecht-2It’s reform, stupid

February 3, 2012 | Articles

It should satisfy conservative Texans to see liberals working so hard to help moderates. The moderates are only their second favorite group, but conservative Texans have put Team Liberal at the political children’s table where they belong, with rubber caps on their forks.

Ross Ramsey of the liberal Texas Tribune wrote a piece for the liberal New York Times, mostly pleading with conservatives to quit winning.

Ramsey offered support of moderate Republicans ahead of the GOP primaries.

Ramsey’s thesis is that conservative Republicans don’t care if government works, they just want to spend less and less. His overall thesis is opposite of reality, though he does get the spending detail right.

Conservatives do want to spend less money on government. Conservatives notice that the free world is in trouble because it has used government to try to do way too much, creating more problems in the process.

Big spenders are one-trick ponies. They only know how to “solve” problems with more spending.  They always trot out the most necessary expenses as representative of the the whole of government activity, while waste and systemic defects are conveniently kept out of the conversation.

In truth, conservatives are the only ones who care if the government works. Government is in trouble because it has taken on so many tasks outside its core competency that it can no longer do essential tasks well. Government fails its people when it costs so much that it discourages entrepreneurial risk takers from creating opportunity because the reward, if achieved, will be substantially confiscated by an oversized, overconfident, overambitious government.

Liberals, like the Texas Tribune, can’t imagine a world in which the enterprising spirit is absent, squelched by a behemoth state. Or maybe they can and don’t care. In any event, may we suggest a trip to any of a number of social democracies in Europe currently failing for this very reason?

Social democracy, of course, is the kinder, gentler socialism that leftists pivoted to when the hard core version, communism, finally proved to be an undefendable, unmitigated disaster.

It was conservative activists last session who advocated for a reduction in the preposterously bloated school administration population so classrooms wouldn’t suffer cuts. Moderates ignored this and other systemic problems to maximize their shot at getting more money.

Hell’s Kitchen is a TV show in which Gordon Ramsey goes into failing restaurants and saves them by cutting costs and reforming operations. His results are often amazing. Almost to a restaurant, the problem is that they are trying to do way too much and therefore doing nothing well. Ramsey also creates wise incentive structures to solve systemic problems. It is a picture of western governments, at every level.

This is the political season of the reformer. Systems need fixing by becoming smaller and smarter, with intelligent incentive structures.

Liberal whines are music to the ears of Texans commited to a limited, well-run state government that can keep Texas strong, and provide an example for the rest of the country.

--Texas Tribune article

Weston Hicks

Weston Hicks researches and writes about associations in the Texas political realm, media choices, and political strategy. He has a B.A. in History from the University of Texas at El Paso and a J.D. from University of Texas School of Law. He enjoys spending time with wife and five children, reading, and playing sports outide. You can reach him at [email protected]