If you think anything is going to change in Washington, think again.
The utter bankruptcy of Republican conservatism can be seen in this brief report on Senator Jeff Sessions from Alabama.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) called for Republicans to embrace “a humble and honest populism” as they consider changing immigration law and writing a budget that will balance in ten years.
Populism was a far-Left political movement of farmers and radical urban union members in the late 19th century. Their candidate was William Jennings Bryan, who lost his race for the presidency three times: 1896, 1900, and 1908. Populism was replaced by Progressivism, which has run the country ever since. The Progressives enacted into law almost the entire Populist agenda.
As for the balanced budget, it is the Republican Party, under the leadership of Ronald Reagan, that launched the fiscal insanity of massive deficits: $200 billion annual deficits, beginning in fiscal 1983. This is the inflation-adjusted equivalent today of almost $500 billion — exactly where the federal deficit is today. Never before in peacetime had anything like this happened. Reagan was the godfather of today’s deficits.
Who was it who balanced the budget? Bill Clinton — of course, only by counting Social Security debts as off-budget.
Now Sen. Sessions calls for a balanced budget . . . in a decade. This is his hard-core stand. His peers in Congress are unable and unwilling to threaten anything like a balanced budget today.
The political rhetoric of a balanced budget is sheer fantasy. Any voter who believes it does not understand American “populism.” The middle class, which gets most of the welfare payments — Medicare and Social Security — cares nothing about deficits, if the cost of eliminating them is the revocation of Medicare and Social Security, which is in fact the cost.
“The elites have had their day. It is time for the middle class to have theirs,” Sessions said Wednesday. “A billionaire activist has just one vote—a vote no greater than that of the truck driver or the plumber.”
We have had elite control of national politics from day one. It began no later than 1788.
The election of 1860 was over which lawyer for the Illinois Central Railroad would be elected President: Abraham Lincoln or Stephen A. Douglas. The election of 1864 was about which Illinois Central official would be elected: Lincoln or his former boss, George McClellan. But Sen. Sessions says the rule of the elites is over. Finished. A new day is dawning.
This would have to mean that there will be no more Council on Foreign Relations members in any President’s cabinet. Anyone who believes this is stupid enough to believe there will be a balanced federal budget in a decade, and that Republican politicians will oversee it.
Sessions spoke at the Calvin Coolidge Foundation Budget Conference and invoked the back-in-vogue Republican president’s immigration policies, specifically his preference for a smaller pool of labor in order to drive up wages for workers.
What is his justification for opposing immigration? A defense of the welfare system. We must trust the current welfare system to end welfare, he says.
“We need to help people get off of welfare, off of unemployment, and into good-paying jobs,” Sessions said. “But the immigration bill championed by the president doubles the rate at which foreign workers are brought into the U.S. What sense does it make to spend billions sustaining Americans on welfare while bringing in millions of lower-wage workers to fill jobs in their place? Doesn’t it make more sense to use the welfare office, instead of the immigration office, as a job placement center?”
That’s it, of course! Trust the local tax-funded job-placement center. Keep the welfare system going . . . maybe until the federal budget is balanced. Don’t encourage welfare recipients to go out and get a job. Pay them not to get jobs, and go through the motions of looking for a job.
The welfare system is the solution to welfare. This is Sen. Sessions’ manifesto.
This is conservative Republican Party economic thought today. This is the wave of the future. It extends the wave of the past.
This is futility.