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奧巴馬要做左派雷根

《華盛頓郵報》專欄作家柯翰默(又譯克勞翰莫,Char

媒體圈赫然發現奧巴馬原來是個左派。奧巴馬利用通常“不得罪任何人”的連任就職演說,發表毫不妥協的左翼自由派聲明。但他的演說內容並未出人意表。畢竟奧巴馬在他首次到國會演講時,聲明要重塑美國。當時我就寫下:“這是歷來美國總統發表過最大膽的社會民主宣言。”

而且他不是說說而已。奧巴馬推出8330億美元的振興經濟方案後,把健保實質國有化,等於把美國經濟的18%收歸國有。華府現在每年花掉美國國內生產毛額的24%,比二戰結束後平均的20%多出五分之一。

這是大政府主義的頌歌。奧巴馬演說的主旨,第一是堅決捍衛20世紀的福利國家體制,第二是進一步推廣它。

對於第一部分,他死守日益落伍的社會安全、聯邦醫療保險與聯邦醫療補助制度,是典型的反動自由主義。美國社會安全制度是在預期壽命只有62歲時設計的,聯邦醫療保險體系是在現代醫療科技剛開始萌芽時創建。今日的人口結構與醫療技術已完全不同,使這些制度難以為繼。所有人都知道,要是不改革,社福體系將吃掉政府僅剩的預算。

至於第二部分,奧巴馬已在第一個任期完成奧巴馬健保。上周一的演說再提出“拯救地球”的大計劃,承諾政府要扶植出綠能產業,並給予鉅額補貼。相對地,政府一直在扼殺化石燃料,先是煤炭,接著又要阻止開採頁岩層石油。

正如身為經濟學家的捷克總統克勞斯所說,環保主義就是社會主義借屍還魂,以便把所有事情都劃歸專家組成的政治局管轄。只不過,現在名義上不再是為了無產階級,而是為了地球。

上周一的演說,也使任何還期望奧巴馬能推動財政改革的人幻滅,他隻字未提後工業化民主國家的主要威脅,也就是歐洲正在上演的福利國家破產危機。

奧巴馬是大政府主義的門徒,他的演說是對集體主義的謳歌。對奧巴馬來說,政府之下即是人民,中間沒有其他組織。人民活在荒原中,唯一的庇蔭是巨獸國家的陰影。

就歷史眼光來說,奧巴馬第二次的就職演說是對雷根第一次就職演說的反擊。雷根在1981年1月20日說:“政府不是問題的解藥,政府本身就是問題。”接下來他成札捉E美國共識支持他的理念,並使得15年後的民主黨總統柯林頓說出:“大政府時代已結束了”,繼續削減社福。

奧巴馬可不是柯林頓。他不打算終結社會福利,除了保存舊有福利,還建立新的制度,以實現他的公義社會理想,由政府出手來弭平差異與所得不均。

奧巴馬在2008年說過,雷根改變了美國的走向,而柯林頓沒有。他的意思是雷根改變了政壇的時代精神,而柯林頓只是蕭規曹隨。

現在奧巴馬想要重振50年前自由派興起的浪潮,回到雷根之前。所以他在第二次就職演說毫不掩飾地表露自己的意識形態,使這場演說成為他的歷史里程碑。他要成為左派的雷根。如果他在未來4年內成央A歷史將會給他這個封號。

作者為美國《華盛頓郵報》專欄作家

《苹果日报》译自《华盛顿邮报》2013年01月30日

By Charles Krauthammer,

Jan 25, 2013 01:13 AM EST

The Washington Post

The media herd is stunned to discover that Barack Obama is a man of the left. After 699 teleprompted presidential speeches, the commentariat was apparently still oblivious. Until Monday’s inaugural address, that is.

Where has everyone been these four years? The only surprise is that Obama chose his second inaugural, generally an occasion for “malice toward none” ecumenism, to unveil so uncompromising a left-liberal manifesto.

But the substance was no surprise. After all, Obama had unveiled his transformational agenda in his first address to Congress, four years ago (Feb. 24, 2009). It was, I wrote at the time, “the boldest social democratic manifesto ever issued by a U.S. president.”

Nor was it mere talk. Obama went on to essentially nationalize health care, 18 percent of the U.S. economy — after passing an $833 billion stimulus that precipitated an unprecedented expansion of government spending. By the White House’s own reckoning, Washington now spends 24 percent of GDP, fully one-fifth higher than the postwar norm of 20 percent.

Obama’s ambitions were derailed by the 2010 midterm shellacking that cost him the House. But now that he’s won again, the revolution is back, as announced in Monday’s inaugural address.

It was a paean to big government. At its heart was Obama’s pledge to (1) defend unyieldingly the 20th-century welfare state and (2) expand it unrelentingly for the 21st.
The first part of that agenda — clinging zealously to the increasingly obsolete structures of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — is the very definition of reactionary liberalism. Social Security was created when life expectancy was 62. Medicare was created when modern medical technology was in its infancy. Today’s radically different demographics and technology have rendered these programs, as structured, unsustainable. Everyone knows that, unless reformed, they will swallow up the rest of the budget.

As for the second part — enlargement — Obama had already begun that in his first term with Obamacare. Monday’s inaugural address reinstated yet another grand Obama project — healing the planet. It promised a state-created green-energy sector, massively subsidized (even as the state’s regulatory apparatus systematically squeezes fossil fuels, killing coal today, shale gas tomorrow).

The playbook is well known. As Czech President (and economist) Vaclav Klaus once explained, environmentalism is the successor to failed socialism as justification for all-pervasive rule by a politburo of experts. Only now, it acts in the name of not the proletariat but the planet.

Monday’s address also served to disabuse the fantasists of any Obama interest in fiscal reform or debt reduction. This speech was spectacularly devoid of any acknowledgment of the central threat to the postindustrial democracies (as already seen in Europe) — the crisis of an increasingly insolvent entitlement state.

On the contrary. Obama is the apostle of the ever-expanding state. His speech was an ode to the collectivity. But by that he means only government, not the myriad of voluntary associations — religious, cultural, charitable, artistic, advocacy, ad infinitum — that are the glory of the American system.

For Obama, nothing lies between citizen and state. It is a desert, within which the isolated citizen finds protection only in the shadow of Leviathan. Put another way, this speech is the perfect homily for the marriage of Julia — the Obama campaign’s atomized citizen, coddled from cradle to grave — and the state.

In the eye of history, Obama’s second inaugural is a direct response to Ronald Reagan’s first. On Jan. 20, 1981, Reagan had proclaimed: “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” And then succeeded in bending the national consensus to his ideology — as confirmed 15 years later when the next Democratic president declared “The era of big government is over.” So said Bill Clinton, who then proceeded to abolish welfare.

Obama is no Clinton. He doesn’t abolish entitlements; he preserves the old ones and creates new ones in pursuit of a vision of a more just social order where fighting inequality and leveling social differences are the great task of government.
Obama said in 2008 that Reagan “changed the trajectory of America” in a way that Clinton did not. He meant that Reagan had transformed the political zeitgeist, while Clinton accepted and thus validated the new Reaganite norm.

Not Obama. His mission is to redeem and resurrect the 50-year pre-Reagan liberal ascendancy. Accordingly, his second inaugural address, ideologically unapologetic and aggressive, is his historical marker, his self-proclamation as the Reagan of the left. If he succeeds in these next four years, he will have earned the title.

2013-01-31

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