Conservative efforts at health-care reform are, for the moment, a shambles. Conservative efforts at tax reform are foundering as well, though their prospects may be sunnier, given the habitual Republican appetite for tax cuts of almost any description, including irresponsible ones.
Both the tax-reform project and the health-care project have run into trouble because of a lack of intellectual and political leadership: Washington’s sock drawers are stuffed full of conservative proposals to rationalize taxes and to nudge health care in a more market-oriented direction, but herding those congressional cats — and conservative activists, think-tankers, PACs and super PACs, aspiring presidents, etc. — in the same direction requires real political leadership. That is made difficult by the fact that the loudest conservative voices — the talking
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