An insightful resource for understanding why Republican politicians haven’t ended the welfare state in all their years in office is a free book called “The Conservative Nanny State.”
Some examples in the book demonstrate how big-government conservatives work to transfer wealth from the poor and exploited. The author, economist Dean Baker, described how the Federal Reserve increases unemployment and inflation among low-wage workers. He also made the case that limited-liability corporations, patents, and copyrights, which are all artificial creations of the government, serve to concentrate wealth. Another interesting point is that conservatives have been instrumental in constructing bankruptcy and tort laws to protect special interests. There are so many more examples to cited in the book.
After reading this book, it becomes clear that anyone wanting to promote peace and prosperity ought to engage all aspects of the political spectrum and not just political conservatives who give lip service to the free market. Of course, some conservatives support the market process more greatly than others. The political implications are revealing, I believe. There is a case to be made that conventional Republicans are more heavily invested in big government (to advance an interventionist foreign policy, to impose a particular religious or social doctrine, or to administer police-state policies) and thus are less willing to reduce the scope of government than big-government liberals might. While they might support Rep. Ron Paul’s effort to audit the Fed for the sake of political populism, they will never favor ending the Fed, because it is critical to finance their plunder.
This confirms my own experience when dealing with big-government conservatives, who more stealthy conceal their agenda for centralizing power. They tend to favor lower taxes rates, but they do so to increase taxes receipts by growing the economic base from which to tax. I find that liberals are just more open, maybe callous, about wanting to control others, even if their solutions have the opposite effect from their stated goals of helping the poor. (Insert the obvious caveat that this is not universally true for either side.) The conservatives, by and large, have been more adept at controlling others for the benefit of the wealthy. I have more patience with big-government liberals to the degree that their policies tend to have a lower mortality rate. The same can’t be said of the hundreds of thousands of victims of the American military or the millions punished for committing consensual yet illicit acts. I disagree with plans to socialize heath insurance, but at least it is intellectually and politically honest. It would probably work far better than the disjointed Frankenstein monster that is bound to come out of a congressional committee or the current fascistic health insurance model in place now. So when their socialism fails, because it will, then the politicians couldn’t blame it on the free market.