Robert Costa and Mike DeBonis wrote an excellent retrospective on the career of Paul Ryan‘He was the future of the party’: Ryan’s farewell triggers debate about his legacy
They are quite harsh, but not, I think, quite harsh enough.
This is an excellent article. Tough but fair with no sugar coating but also no discourtesy. However, there is one clear error. Costa and DeBonis wrote ” to apply free-market principles to create opportunities in impoverished communities. The tax bill included a provision creating low-tax “opportunity zones,””
Establishing opportunity zones might be good policy, but such zones are completely inconsistent with free market principles. The idea is to tilt the playinf field in order to favor the poor. The free market principle utterly rejected by advocates of opportunity zones is that the government shouldn’t play favorites and should leave market incentives unaffected except as absolutely necessary to raise funds for necessary purposes.
Only someone unclear on the concept could think that the radical intervention in the economy with the aim of achieving higher welfare is based on free market principles, when it is clearly a rejection of free market principles.
Jack Kemp was a very decent man who genuinely wanted to help the poor. He also believed that he believed in free markets. But he wouldn’t have recognized a free market if he tripped over it.
I think establishing opportunity zones is good policy. I do not think highly of free market principles. The fact that people who present themselves as advocates of the free market also propose non free market policies is just one reminder that free market principles can not solve our problems.
Now I think it is clear why Ryan and Kemp mistake social engineering for free markets. Opportunity zones would increase post tax profits and increase the budget deficit. They are consistently pro-business, if one considers the interests of businessmen to be only short term post tax profits and ignores any costs from the deficits the two of them created (with help from Roth, Reagan, McConnell and Trump but Ryan and Kemp are the men deficit lovers must love best).
The fact that Ryan was reputed to be more thoughtful than other Republicans demonstrates the utter idiocy of the party as a whole.
Again. I appreciate this excellent article.