Back to the Eighties

At first glance, this Patrick Ruffini post on the right’s health care failure seems noticeable for its confession that when it comes to health policy, the rising stars on the right don’t know what they’re talking about:

On health care, I have no idea what our basic guiding principle is. Seriously, I don’t.

But thinking more deeply, the really noteworthy element is Ruffini’s back to the eighties economic policy dogma:

On economics, you always know what the conservative answer is: tax cuts and generally hands-off regulatory policies to spur economic growth.

You can easily see how it was possible to stand amidst the stagflation of the late-1970s and say, “hey, maybe this tax cuts and hands-off regulatory policies idea should be given a try.” But how on earth could you live through the years 1993-2008 and come away with the opinion that if only someone would try cutting taxes and easing off on the regulation then we wouldn’t have all these problems? There’s something really, really dense about this attitude. And yet it remains the very cutting edge of conservative thinking on economics.