The following slug appeared on the front page of a Hartford paper the day after a Face the State debate between Democratic U.S. Representative Chris Murphy and Republican Linda McMahon, both of whom are vying for U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman’s soon to be vacant seat:
“Another 90 seconds and no answers,'' he [Mr. Murphy] said, "not a single specific cut that Linda McMahon would support, and another example of fealty to a supply-side trickledown economics that just hasn't worked."
The statement bears close examination, but Mrs. McMahon did not during the debate force such an examination.
In an earlier debate with then Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, Mrs. McMahon caused some agita when she asked Mr. Blumenthal to explain how jobs are created. Clearly over his head in deep water, Mr. Blumenthal sputtered an answer that showed he did not at all understand how businesses produce jobs.
The embarrassing moment was not fatal to Mr. Blumenthal – he went on to win the race for departing U. S. Senator Chris Dodd’s seat – but it did rip a veil from his persona. Like most politicians who promote command economies, Mr. Blumenthal thought at the time – and still believes – that jobs are made by government intervention in the private market place.
Mrs. McMahon went on to answer her own question:
“Government does not create jobs. It’s very simple how your create jobs: An entrepreneur takes a risk. He or she believes that he creates a good or service that is sold for more than it costs to make it. If an entrepreneur thinks he can do that, he creates a job.”
In her debate with Mr. Murphy, Mrs. McMahon easily might have asked Mr. Murphy to tell the listening audience precisely what he meant by “supply side economics,” a term of reproach used by Democrats who have not read any of the essays or books written by George Gilder, the Saint Paul of supply-side theory. A much too brief discussion of Mr. Gilder’s “Wealth and Poverty” may be found on the Connecticut Commentary site here: “Of Capitalism I Sing.”
Mr. Murphy passionately supports Obamacare, passed by Democrats in Congress who did not read the bill, but it is plain from much of what he has said concerning health care that he would prefer a single payer system, which is to say a health care system run by Washington D.C. bureaucrats and politicians such as himself who prefer command economies. In such a system, health care would “trickle down” from national health care administrators and administrative technicians in the states to doctors and patients. In fact, the single payer insurance system preferred by Mr. Murphy is an extreme form of trickledown economics: Tax money is collected by bureaucrats in Washington and disbursed only to insurance companies that satisfy the rigorous demands of an authoritarian government. The ensuing regulations effectively prevent the economic creativity and vitality so apparent in free economies.
Mrs. McMahon might have asked Mr. Murphy during their debate why he preferred such an extreme form of trickledown economics. And in defending privately owned insurance companies from a government that seeks to control the means of production through excessive regulation, she easily might have cited the following passage from an essay recently written by Mr. Gilder:
“Capitalism is the supreme expression of human creativity and freedom, an economy of mind overcoming the constraints of material power. It is not simply a practical success, a ‘worst of all systems except for the rest of them,’ a faute de mieux compromise redeemed by charities and regulators and proverbially ‘saved by the New Deal.’ It is dynamic, a force that pushes human enterprise down spirals of declining costs and greater abundance. The cost of capturing technology is mastery of the underlying science. The means of production of entrepreneurs are not land, labor, or capital but minds and hearts. Enduring are only the contributions of mind and morality.
“All progress comes from the creative minority. Under capitalism, wealth is less a stock of goods than a flow of ideas, the defining characteristic of which is surprise. Creativity is the foundation of wealth.”
And that is why command economies frustrate the production of wealth – they force upon creative free markets a cookie cutter regulatory apparatus that benefits only the promoters of command economies. Mr. Murphy is one of them.
Mr. Murphy sustained his points in the debate through sheer bluster and chutzpah. He insisted, for instance, that some points in Mrs. McMahon’s economic program were lifted from Washington sources, a point hotly denied by Mrs. McMahon. She is, of course, a Republican, and many of her economic proposals certainly align with those of her party. The same is true of Mr. Murphy, who appears to have borrowed much of his rhetoric from his national party’s playbook, including the absurd claim that Mrs. McMahon is waging a "war on women” because she opposes the Democrat’s war on Christian doctrine.
Of course, in any debate with Mr. Murphy, Mrs. McMahon must be careful to give credit to the architects of a free economy, lest she be accused of lifting ideas from free market proponents much in the way Mr. Murphy has “lifted” a good deal of his command economy notions secondhand from President Barrack Obama’s all purpose made-in-Chicago campaign platform – including the absurd “war on women” meme, the national Democratic platform pro-abortion entente and even the “trickledown economics” rhetorical head fake deployed by Mr. Murphy in his first debate with Mrs. McMahon.