I try not to be too partisan in my commentaries, because I don’t think much progress can be made if you alienate half the country with your political discourse. However, I cannot allow certain things to pass without comment. It is de rigeur in Conservative circles to claim that Barack Obama won re-election by promising “freebies” to his supporters, i.e. healthcare, education, et al.
Listen, if there’s one thing Democrats will be upfront with people about, it is that you have to pay for what you get. Taxes will have to be raised to pay for the above government programs. Democrats never deny this.
It is in fact Conservatives (thus many Republicans) who have embraced so-called Supply Side Economics, basically the idea that cutting taxes increases revenue, therefore one can both cut taxes and increase government spending. This is the definiton of promising something for nothing.
You can argue amongst yourselves whether anyone ever can get something for nothing. This is a nebulous philosophical concept certainly. But one thing is certain, modern Conservatism (here in the U.S. and increasingly around the world) is the political movement trying to sell a version of this idea, not Obama or anyone else on the mainstream Left.