With last month’s electoral loss for the Republican Party, President Barack Obama is one step closer to fulfilling an 80-year vision for the United States first put in place by former President Franklin Roosevelt, Mark Steyn said Tuesday.
In an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” the National Review columnist attempted to hash out Obama’s fiscal cliff game plan, which is to peg the Republicans and House Speaker John Boehner with the political blame.
“I think he’s figured out that this is actually an opportunity for him to drive a stake through the Republican Party in which everybody’s taxes will go up,” Steyn, author of “After America: Get Ready for Armageddon,” said. “And the Republicans will get a blame for it. And I’m not sure he’s wrong about that. I think his strategy all along — I said this in my book, so it’s weird to see it coming true so literally — has been to establish 25 percent of GDP as the new baseline for federal spending. So, he needs everybody’s taxes to go up, not just Warren Buffett’s. And there’s two ways he can do that. He can either get John Boehner to capitulate as John Boehner seems eager to do, or he can say the hell with it, let’s go of the fiscal cliff and stick Republicans with the blame.”
Steyn said this tactic is part of a broader vision that Obama is attempting to fulfill and that it was put forth by his predecessors, former Presidents Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson. But he said it is much more difficult to install what he defined as “European socialism democracy” in the United States.
“I think it’s clear from the election that, you know, the majority of Americans essentially voted for European levels of spending,” Steyn said. “And you can’t have European levels of spending. We’re one percent under Canada. Americans, conservative Americans think there’s a difference between America and Canada. There’s actually isn’t any more, not in terms of government spending. We’re close to Norway.”
“We’re not quite the full Sweden yet, but we basically are spending like Europeans, but we’re not taxed like that. And the idea that you can close that gap, I think he figures out, if he can make this level of spending permanent, he changes the United States into a European social democracy and he’ll be the most consequential president of the last hundred years,” Steyn continued. “He will finish the work of FDR and LBJ and that will be it. We’ll be a big Sweden.”
But Steyn had some tough words for Boehner. He said the House speaker has shown a reluctance to take Obama on deficit reduction and instead has become a guy showing himself as someone who can run big government “more efficiently.”
“I would say, there’s a big choice for Republicans,” Steyn added. “John Boehner is basically slowly, quietly essentially offering himself as the guy who can kind of run the Obama-size state more efficiently. In other words, he can provide slightly less insane arithmetic for it. There’s no point. He’s come up with $800 billion of extra revenue. So what? That’s half of last year’s federal deficit. What’s $800 billion in savings over a decade? That’s irrelevant. Absolutely. Whatever time he spent negotiating that was a complete waste of time.”