Democrats see the governments' [sic] role edging up as the nation ages and its economy matures. Moreover, they see that as the inevitable and desirable evolution of a nation making good on its social compact with a graying population and competing in a global economy where state-directed economies such as China's use the power of government to prevail.
Republicans watch those same trends and recoil from what they see as a nation drifting away from its traditional economic moorings and toward the inherently flawed models of a socialist Europe and a mercantilist China. They see a social compact that needs to be trimmed as the economy matures and a government role in the economy that shouldn't grow to compete with China but rather be curtailed to differentiate the American model from the Chinese one.
Indeed! And, we add to the last sentence, to continue on the path that historically and universally has produced more prosperity for more people than its competitors, both in the United States and elsewhere.
Seib is as evenhanded as he can be with this, really a model of journalistic neutrality (and note well that he continues to work for WSJ long after Evil Genius Rupert Murdoch's sinister takeover). Some with weak constitutions may respond by saying, "Well, both sides have good things to say. Who can determine who's right in this? I'll just vote for the best candidate."
Wrong. Given that politics and economics is as much art as science, one is compelled to say that the obvious bet is to bet on oneself and people like oneself. Citizenship, not client-patron relations, makes us happier, healthier, wealthier, and wiser. Vote for the people who affirm your adulthood. Blame the people who infantilize you.
And so one party says that we much tax the rich more so that we can include the rich amongst the clients of government patronage, never means-testing entitlements or stifling crony-capitalistic ventures that we label "investments in our future." The other plans to not so much to starve the middle man as put him on a diet.