I very much appreciated the Wall Street Journal column today by Daniel Henninger. In the piece, he outlines some larger, longer term trends that were behind the Scott Brown victory in Massachusetts on Tuesday.
Of particular interest to me was the idea that the relentless expansion of the public sector over decades has created an overly bloated public sector that the Democratic Party, in particular, has become beholden to.
Of course, it is not just Dems who have aided and abetted expansion of the public sector, but the Democrats are more so responsible – and, importantly, they are much more reliant on union voters for their election victories.
Henninger traces this situation back to a “Faustian bargain” the Dems made with public sector unions during the Kennedy Administration.
The central battle in our time is over political primacy. It is a competition between the public sector and the private sector over who defines the work and the institutions that make a nation thrive and grow.
He makes numerous compelling points about the imbalance in spending and focus, including this:
Feeding the public unions’ wage demands starved other government responsibilities.
The result is you see the roads full of potholes while you regularly read stories about public servants retiring at 50 with full pensions – often goosed up with special perks and payments.
He argues that the GOP should find a way to restore balance and move us towards a more sustainable relationship between the public and private sectors.