The coming intra-party wars

Fundamentally, we’re bumping up against the willingness of the American public to pay more taxes, or accept spending cuts. Some constituencies are going to lose. Republicans are going to have to decide whether they’d rather have lower taxes, or a stronger military. And Democrats are going to have to decide who they care about more: old people, or poor people.

I know, you want to say the answer is “both”! But those aren’t in the solution set. If you want a stronger military, you need to pay for it. And if you want a state that keeps every old person in comfort, you’re going to end up paying for it by gutting the parts of the welfare state that provide for people who don’t vote much. If you think that we’re going to somehow engineer a world in which we have either a military and welfare system the size of Canada’s, or a military the size of the WWII Soviet Union’s, with an entitlement system the size of Somalia’s, you are not taking into account an American public that likes soldiers, and Medicare.