In Newsweek's current issue ( February 16, 2009) , its cover story , "We are all Socialists Now", makes some startling observations. Journalists Jon Meacham and Evan Thomas are telling it like it is, I am afraid to say. Pointing out that government and its spending expanded and grew under Ronald Reagen, and kept right on through Clinton and Bush, both double term administrations, they assert that where we are now is the only place we could have landed, considering our precedents. Bigger government and a quasi-socialism are the way of the 21st century. To complain about it will not change it. It is something we have simply become; we are now joining the European states, and will use their economic model.
"History has a sense of humor", the article continues, going on to state that it was none other than Geroge W. Bush who laid the foundations for President Obama and his stimulus. Bush closed out the era of Reagen. Even before him, government grew largely with Reagen, and continued apace. The illusory war against "big government" and "the L word" , which began with Reagen , is finished. It is gone; vanished, as it were, in the whirligig of time.
Irrelevant also have become all historical revisions of the New Deal, claiming it hindered and not helped the Great Depression. FDR rises again, like the return of the repressed, to haunt us. Americans want health care, they want protection from banking and housing failure; they want the government to get them out of this impasse. In the article's final paragraph, these closing words : "The Obama Administration is caught in a paradox. It must borrow and spend to fix a crisis created by too much borrowing and spending.". Let's hope Obama's sense of irony will serve him well.