About as often as Halley's Comet drops by for a visit, a conservative is correct. When it happens, it quite joyful. Witness publius at Obsidian Wings:
The fight over the stimulus – a preview of the budget wars to come – has obviously taken on larger ideological dimensions. And the stakes are high. It’s a fight over the very idea of whether government can play a positive role in people’s lives. That’s in part why the Republicans are fighting it so hard.
The ideological debate is often taking place at a very abstract level – with anti-government advocates warning of vague unspecified dangers that will follow government spending. Last month, for instance, Jindal said in a speech that increasing spending “will have dire consequences for not only this time, but also for the future of America.”
It’s nice, then, to see some actual concrete vindication of government assistance. And it’s especially nice to see it in a state governed by Bobby Jindal.
The NYT reports that the massive post-Katrina relief effort has – shockingly – helped the people of Louisiana a great deal.The experiment is still playing out, but some indicators suggest that what occurred in Louisiana — dumping a large amount of reconstruction money into a confined space in the three and a half years since Hurricane Katrina — has had a positive outcome. The state’s unemployment rate of 5.7 percent in February was considerably below the national average of 8.1 percent, and it was the only state to see a drop in unemployment from December to January. It was also the only state with an increase in non-farm employment in February.
Thus is the ideological shallowness of Jindal as poster boy for the new Right exposed. Publius' analysis is a good read. He ends with this:
I’m not saying this settles the debate. But it does show that government can play a significantly positive role in people’s lives.
And it reinforces a much larger point -- people like me prefer certain types of government spending because it helps people. It’s not much more complicated than that. I think national health care, broadband investment, and energy reform will help people.
And to help the public come around to that view, it’s important to advertise the successes of government done right – to show them the benefits. Democrats don’t do enough of that.