E.J. Dionne Spins Fairy Tales About Political Parties

He told readers that: "Democrats on the whole believe in using government to correct the inequities and inefficiencies the market creates, while Republicans on the whole think market outcomes are almost always better than anything government can produce."

No, it just ain't so. Republicans (and many Democrats) want the government to structure markets to redistribute income upward. This is why they support government granted patent monopolies that allow drug companies to tax consumers close to $250 billion a year (almost 2 percent of GDP) by charging prices far above the competitive market level. The same applies to government granted copyright monopolies which transfer hundreds of billions of dollars from ordinary workers to people like Bill Gates.

The Republicans (and many Democrats) also favor protectionist measures that prevent doctors, lawyers, and other highly educated professionals from being subjected to competition with low-paid workers in the developing world as are manufacturing workers. Republicans (and many Democrats) favor free insurance to the financial industry in the form of "too big to fail" bailout policies that allow them to rely on the government when their irresponsible behavior lands them in trouble.

Republicans (and many Democrats) really like it when the Democrats are described as the party of big government and the Republicans are described as the party of the free market. Even though it is not at all true, it is very helpful to the Republicans in advancing their agenda.

--Dean Baker

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