Bowles-Simpson And The Republican Bluff

Jonathan Chait defends his belief that the right isn't primarily motivated by a desire to shrink government:

...the debt commission's report entails a massive rollback of government. It does have some revenue increases, but those are accompanied by enormous cuts in income and corporate tax rates, and it's not clear if the net effect of the changes is to increase or decrease the share of taxes paid by the rich.

If the Republican Party was generally motivated by opposition to government, they would be dancing in the aisles.

Which, of course, some of us non-Republican small government types were doing much of last week. Bowles-Simpson is about as close to a Dish-style agenda as we can imagine. Chait goes on:

After all, this is a plan to both slash the size of government by about as much as it's ever been slashed, and slash tax rates. And yet the right's reaction is fairly tepid. The Tea Party movement is opposed. Grover Norquist is on the warpath. The Wall Street Journal editorial page is highly skeptical. I've seen a mostly positive editorial from National Review, but as of Friday evening, the Weekly Standard has written nothing at all. I wrote that the plan is overwhelmingly titled toward Republican priorities, and by that I meant putative priorities. The mixed response to a plan that would represent massive progress toward limited government makes my case for me.

Agreed.