When Democrats Sound Like Democrats
With the surfeit of debates, this election cycle, there’s certainly plenty of opportunity to observe the differences large and small between candidates in the Democrat congressional primaries. One instance has to do with Anthony Gemma, in the First District race. Gemma had piqued my interest with a press release that he intends to forgo his salary, should he win the seat, and use it to create four jobs, instead. (Naturally, those jobs would be within his staff, working on a jobs plan.)
But Randal Edgar’s coverage of an ABC6 debate suggests Gemma’s still way too far within Democrat territory:
Asked what is more important, stimulating the economy or cutting the national deficit, the candidates responded with the familiar words that have marked their campaigns.
Segal said the priority needs to be stimulating the economy, with money going to areas such as public transit.
Lynch said his priority is putting Rhode Islanders back to work, and cutting spending for bridges and roads in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gemma said the government has to spend more wisely, giving money directly to private companies that will create jobs that will still be there when the government money is gone. Cicilline said the country needs to do both — stimulate the economy and pare down the debt.
More public spending will not stimulate the economy. It will supplant spending already planned, change little more than timing, create dependency, and increase worries about debt and taxes. Any candidate who states belief that government spending is the route out of our economic slump is not fit for public office.
This example is even more egregious:
Gemma said the state needs to expand preschool programs to make sure students know their letters and numbers when they get to kindergarten and to spend more time teaching reading and math.
Even government reports have shown that early childhood education isn’t likely to be core to an education remedy. It does not make up for poor instruction in subsequent grades or for disengaged parents. When implemented by the state, however it does create a wave of new union members and begin government control of children at even earlier. My expectation is that such a program would only reinforce parents’ understanding that educating their children is the responsibility of the government and will do nothing to change the structural mentality that binds our public schools in stagnating labor rules and unhealthy institutional incentives that leave students and parents little influence in policy.
By contrast, Ernest Greco, running in the Second District race, actually gives Democrat voters a substantive choice, and this is what he gets:
… Greco stuck to such conservative positions, that Scott MacKay, political correspondent at WRNI radio, asked him outright: “Why are you a Democrat? Every position you take is right from the Republican platform.”