- AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH - Nov 6, 2020 -
It is usually hard for many people to find any silver lining around the results of any election headlined by a contest between two presidential candidates who are usually indistinguishable from each other in their hostility to liberty and markets. Indeed, big government was on the ballot and big government won big. However, if you look beyond the presidential horse race,we can find a few reasons for good cheer.
For one thing, I enjoyed watching voters deliver a solid slap in the face to the peddlers of wokeness and hardcore progressivism – that is, to much of today’s Democratic agenda. It was delivered while getting rid of President Trump, which for many is a benefit. I have to admit that I didn’t see those two outcomes coming simultaneously. AIER’s Phil Magness puts it best:
“A complete moron with historically high unpopularity ratings basically fought this election to a draw (or near-draw depending on whatever happens in the counts), and did so facing the most aggressively one-sided media coverage skew against a major party candidate in US electoral history…. The ‘blue wave’ that was touted as a near-certainty by the same media and pollsters less than 24 hours ago didn’t materialize. … Whoever emerges victorious will do so without an electoral mandate, with a divided congress, and with nearly half of the country openly skeptical about the legitimacy of their win.”
Divided government is probably the best thing that could have happened to us this week, especially compared to the alternative of a unified Democratic government. This division, if it materialized, doesn’t mean that no big government policies will get through. Divided government during the Obama presidency resulted in several shameless Paul Ryan/Patty Murray budget deals.
Also, most people welcome bipartisanship but in reality, it is often synonymous with big government policies. So it will be this time around too as I predict the bipartisan enactment of many bad policies. Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has already signaled that yet another gargantuan Covid relief bill will get through, in spite of the improved economic conditions. Adding insult to injury, it will contain idiotic provisions such as bailouts for state governments.