Alas, poor whites

Conservative think tanks still hatch rotten eggs. The Republican Party’s reform plan on 2002 having been consigned to ignominious exile, leaders must give interns at Koch summer camps and Heritage Action for America some work that justifies their salaries. What they have in mind:

Whether Mr. Trump prevails or the party is left to rebuild from defeat, these conservatives in think tanks, advocacy groups and the news media — and a few in political office — will be pressing for a new agenda: to update the Reagan-era playbook with an eye to working-class voters without a college education who form the Republican base. Ronald Reagan’s notions that policies that benefit the rich and big business lift all incomes now appear outmoded in an era of rising wealth inequality and stagnant wages.

“Update” is the key word. What is one of those ideas?

Rule out fully privatizing Social Security and Medicare, and reassure workers they will be exempt from cost-cutting.

• Acknowledge that universal health care is here to stay, but push for market-oriented changes.

The “but” is key; the reporter could have used “butt,” for that’s what these ideas are. To anyone who doesn’t rely on Social Security and don’t rely on Affordable Care Act plans and Medicaid subsidies, these “market-based solutions” amount to purloined drivel from human resources seminars. And what is “fully” doing modifying the verb “privatizing”? So often do reporters gloss over the subtle horrors of “entitlement reform” that their work implicitly aborbs conservative messages. Who can balk at the word “reform,” right? The choice is designed to appeal to the guilt at the heart of the liberal imagination?

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