"One of the fondest delusions of the moralists of the American right is that if only conservatives are elected to power the slide can be reversed. But the unities of American political life are far more fundamental than the divisions. Economists Robert Bacon and Walter Eltis have highlighted the fact that in Britain governments of the right and those of the left purpose policies that are almost indistinguishable. In times of crisis especially (which means almost all the time in the social democracies), "the Left and Right positions can become so mixed up that it is difficult to tell which is which. The same is true in the United States where ideological statements obscure the realities. Congressman Jack Kemp, one of the conservative hopes, bases his economic plan on the same redistributionary assumptions as his opponents, differing with them mainly on practical grounds. He recognizes the futility of killing the golden goose by taxation and regulation, preferring to keep it alive so that it can still deliver in the redistributionary system. Conservatives like Kemp can be expected to keep intact the system that their opponents caused to flourish over the last few decades. But they will change the beneficiaries and the victims. Both sides will continue to make redistribution pay for themselves through the vote-buying process. That is the explanation for Ronald Reagan's discovery during the 1980 presidential campaign that New York City and Chrysler Corporation were worthy additions to the welfare economy. It is also the reason that the Thatcher government in Britain, despite its popular image, presided over enormous increases in taxation, government expenditure, and the money supply.
As early as its first year in office, the Reagan administration had continued the ignominious policies of its predecessors, although this was disguised by the rhetoric of both parties. A tax increase disguised as a tax cut, a budget increase disguised as a budget cut, and the continued policy of rewarding political friends from the public purse showed that there was no fundamental change. The much-vaunted balanced budget of 1984 became a joke after only a few months. Moral government does not come from an immoral people." Idols For Destruction pages 279-280