Bruce Bartlett ends a post on Margaret Thatcher with the following observation

Mrs. Thatcher, like Reagan, moved her country in a conservative direction. But Mrs. Thatcher’s fiscal accomplishments were much more modest than many of today’s Republicans think.

The lesson they should learn from her is that it is very hard to shrink the size of government even when a strong leader has complete control of the legislature, that it takes many years of arduous work to do so and that at the end of the day it won’t shrink very much.

This echoes, one of my main points. The march of the welfare state rests on forces far more fundamental than come through in basic politics. There is no way that by simply winning elections you are going to change this dynamic.

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