Is the Ryan budget the final gasp of the government unions ?

As usual. Richard Fernandez has a unique view of current events. He compares the present federal government to Boss Tweed’s Tamany Hall.

But in actuality the impetus for moderating political excess often comes from the elites themselves when mismanagement finally becomes so bad it threatens the survival of everyone.

Until things reach the point of failure mismanagement has the effect of leaving voters no alternative but content themselves with the opposition party. Republican voters may have been disappointed and outraged at the perceived sellout by a Paul Ryan-led Congress to the Obama administration. “It was another Republican “compromise” meaning Democrats got every item they asked for,” said the Drudge Report.

Paul Ryan has engineered a “compromise” with Democrats that gives them everything they wanted.

Today, he defended it on Meet The Press.

And in divided government you don’t get everything you want. So we fought for as much as we could get. We advanced our priorities and principles. Not every single one of them, but many of them. And then we’re going to pick up next year and pick up where we left off and keep going for more.

Is this true ? I doubt it.

Tammany Hall was a key innovation in governance and under the leadership of Boss Tweed functioned as a dispenser of social justice to Irish immigrants.

Rooted in Jeffersonian democracy and transformed by the massive Irish immigration of the mid-nineteenth century, Tammany Hall, New York City’s Democratic organization, became synonymous with machine politics. … An expert in Irish-American history, Golway unsurprisingly sees the origins of this form of political organization in Irish anti-institutional activism. In overcoming and battling nativism in America, reaching out, albeit not selflessly, to new immigrant groups … the organization became, through Senator Robert F. Wagner, a major factor in the New Deal and, later, American liberalism.

Yes, we can see the remnants of Tammany Hall in today’s Democratic Party. What about the GOP ?

Tweed’s downfall came in the wake of the Orange riot of 1871, which came after Tammany Hall banned a parade of Irish Protestants celebrating a historical victory against Catholicism, because of a riot the year before in which eight people died when a crowd of Irish Catholic laborers attacked the paraders. Under strong pressure from the newspapers and the Protestant elite of the city, Tammany reversed course, and the march was allowed to proceed, with protection from city policemen and state militia. The result was an even larger riot in which over 60 people were killed and more than 150 injured. …

Yes, the riots and crime by Mexican illegal aliens and the terrorist attacks by Muslims incite reaction by the majority of citizens. It can be risky to the political class to defend rioters, murderers and terrorists.

The members know that I am a movement conservative. They know that I am doer, not a be-er.

I want to make sure that we have an agenda that we take to the American people that is rooted in our founding principles. This is what conservatives believe. To give the country a very clear choice. And that’s what we’re excited and looking forward to in 2016.

Really ?

The response to the Orange riot changed everything, and only days afterwards the Times/Nast campaign began to garner popular support. More importantly, the Times started to receive inside information from County Sheriff James O’Brien, whose support for Tweed had fluctuated during Tammany’s reign. O’Brien had tried to blackmail Tammany by threatening to expose the ring’s embezzlement to the press, and when this failed he provided the evidence he had collected to the Times.
The exposé provoked an international crisis of confidence in New York City’s finances, and, in particular, in its ability to repay its debts.

Do you suppose the towering debt edifice erected by Obama and the political machine established by public employee unions could ever topple ?

Tweed was ditched when he couldn’t meet the payroll; when he became bad for business. In 2011 Fred Siegel drew parallels between the modern Federal Government and the storied 19th century political machine, arguing that Washington was the 21st century reincarnation of Tammany Hall; an organization which existed only to pay itself, an arrangement maintained by public sector unions.

The Great Society put the state on growth hormones. Less widely appreciated, the era gave birth to a powerful new political force, the public-sector union. For the first time in American history there was an interest dedicated wholly to lobbying for a larger government and the taxes and debt to pay for it….
“public sector unions are displacing political machines as the turnout mechanism for the Democratic Party. They are the new Tammany Hall.”

Fred Siegel is now my go-to guy on modern American politics. His book, The Revolt Against the Masses, should required reading for anyone wondering where the modern Democratic Party came from.

Paul Ryan’s budget is proof of how difficult it is to stop the machine until things became well and truly desperate. Siegel noted that “reform” was really another word for the elites acting to save their own necks.

During its own “lost decade” after 1993, Canada shaped up its finances and it has weathered the latest economic crises well. (Although it has now elected an Obama-like empty suit as Prime Minister.) New Zealand’s Roger Douglas in the 1980s and Germany’s Gerhard Schröder in the early 2000s cut into expensive welfare states. In all these cases, Mr. Siegel notes, center-left parties carried out painful reform. “They did this out of necessity.” Sooner or later, American politicians will face the “unavoidable” reckoning, he adds. “It’s not the mean tea partiers who force this. It’s the facts on the ground.”
This implies that while the moral impulse to reform is necessary, it is not a sufficient condition to achieve change. The Federal government and both political parties can shrug off outrage until a financial and/or political crisis brings the house of cards down. Perhaps the best thing about the budget deal is it brings the cliff a trillion dollars closer.

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One Response to “Is the Ryan budget the final gasp of the government unions ?”

  1. bomag says:

    I’m not sure it is a “revolt against the Masses”; it looks like the political class has bought off enough of the Masses to perpetuate their system; Romney’s “47%” triangulated against the payers.

    Reforms presuppose you have an honest cohort that will maintain any implemented integrity. But we are rapidly installing various Chinese hackers; subcontinental Indians of economic exploitation fame; illegal aliens of dubious civic virtue; political asylum refugees of the joke variety; etc. etc. Personnel is policy, so I’m largely glad things aren’t any worse than they are.