Analistas 14/03/2016

Kasich is not a reasonable alternative

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So, an advance warning: He’s a con artist too.

For one thing, Mr. Kasich engages in his own form of ludicrous self-aggrandizement, claiming to have been the “chief architect” of the briefly balanced federal budget during the Clinton administration - which is sheer fantasy. According to Matt O’Brien at The Washington Post: “That’s only true if by ‘chief architect,’ you mean that he voted against the two bills that did the most to get the government in the black, and sponsored one that sounded like it did a lot but actually didn’t.”

But what provoked me to write about Mr. Kasich here was a line that he repeats often about wanting to “Uberize” the federal government. Ask yourself: What is that supposed to mean?

Bear in mind that the federal government is best thought of as a giant insurance company with an army. Nondefense spending is dominated by Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and a few smaller social insurance programs. How, exactly, is an Uber-like model supposed to do anything to make a system like that work better?

And don’t say that it would remove vast armies of bureaucrats. Administrative costs for those federal programs are actually quite low compared with the private sector.

If Mr. Kasich means anything, he probably means “privatize,” not “Uberize” - perhaps by converting Social Security into a giant 401(k) plan, and by replacing Medicare with vouchers. But that wouldn’t poll very well, would it?

The point is that Mr. Kasich is running on a false boast about his past and a nonsense slogan about the present. No, he’s not the grown-up in the room.

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