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奥巴马要做左派雷根

《华盛顿邮报》专栏作家柯翰默(又译克劳翰莫,Char

媒体圈赫然发现奥巴马原来是个左派。奥巴马利用通常“不得罪任何人”的连任就职演说,发表毫不妥协的左翼自由派声明。但他的演说内容并未出人意表。毕竟奥巴马在他首次到国会演讲时,声明要重塑美国。当时我就写下∶“这是历来美国总统发表过最大胆的社会民主宣言。”

而且他不是说说而已。奥巴马推出8330亿美元的振兴经济方案後,把健保实质国有化,等於把美国经济的18%收归国有。华府现在每年花掉美国国内生产毛额的24%,比二战结束後平均的20%多出五分之一。

这是大政府主义的颂歌。奥巴马演说的主旨,第一是坚决捍卫20世纪的福利国家体制,第二是进一步推广它。

对於第一部分,他死守日益落伍的社会安全、联邦医疗保险与联邦医疗补助制度,是典型的反动自由主义。美国社会安全制度是在预期寿命只有62岁时设计的,联邦医疗保险体系是在现代医疗科技刚开始萌芽时创建。今日的人口结构与医疗技术已完全不同,使这些制度难以为继。所有人都知道,要是不改革,社福体系将吃掉政府仅剩的预算。

至於第二部分,奥巴马已在第一个任期完成奥巴马健保。上周一的演说再提出“拯救地球”的大计划,承诺政府要扶植出绿能产业,并给予钜额补贴。相对地,政府一直在扼杀化石燃料,先是煤炭,接著又要阻止开采页岩层石油。

正如身为经济学家的捷克总统克劳斯所说,环保主义就是社会主义借尸还魂,以便把所有事情都划归专家组成的政治局管辖。只不过,现在名义上不再是为了无产阶级,而是为了地球。

上周一的演说,也使任何还期望奥巴马能推动财政改革的人幻灭,他苹字未提後工业化民主国家的主要威胁,也就是欧洲正在上演的福利国家破产危机。

奥巴马是大政府主义的门徒,他的演说是对集体主义的讴歌。对奥巴马来说,政府之下即是人民,中间没有其他组织。人民活在荒原中,唯一的庇荫是巨兽国家的阴影。

就历史眼光来说,奥巴马第二次的就职演说是对雷根第一次就职演说的反击。雷根在1981年1月20日说∶“政府不是问题的解药,政府本身就是问题。”接下来他成札捉E美国共识支持他的理念,并使得15年後的民主党总统柯林顿说出∶“大政府时代已结束了”,继续削减社福。

奥巴马可不是柯林顿。他不打算终结社会福利,除了保存旧有福利,还建立新的制度,以实现他的公义社会理想,由政府出手来弭平差异与所得不均。

奥巴马在2008年说过,雷根改变了美国的走向,而柯林顿没有。他的意思是雷根改变了政坛的时代精神,而柯林顿只是萧规曹随。

现在奥巴马想要重振50年前自由派兴起的浪潮,回到雷根之前。所以他在第二次就职演说毫不掩饰地表露自己的意识形态,使这场演说成为他的历史里程碑。他要成为左派的雷根。如果他在未来4年内成央A历史将会给他这个封号。

作者为美国《华盛顿邮报》专栏作家

《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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