I was listening to NPR the other day and they had Reihan Salam and E.J. Dionne on discussing what to expect politically in 2011. I like both of them and find them to typically be two of the smartest writers on both sides of the aisle. Unfortunately, Salam made a comment that rankled.
When you think about the 20 million or so civilians who work for the federal, state and local governments, they really feel threatened by a lot of folks, like me, who think that we need a more cost-effective government. And so they're likely to rally around the flag.
Is there anyone out there arguing for more inefficiencies in government? Is there anyone out there saying, "Our public sector is far too cost-effective!" No. Now there are certainly debates to be had about how best to be efficient and we should debate that issue. Conservatives typically want a smaller cost-effective government. Liberals usually want a larger, but still cost-effective government. In both cases there are goals each side wants achieved and cost-effectiveness is important to that. But there isn't anyone around clamoring for a less cost-effective government and statements like Salam's make it seem like conservatives are for that, but liberals are not which is absolutely not the case.