Peggy Wrong-Way Noonan, once again setting the GOP straight by misdiagnosing its problem, namely one Barack Obama:
He is certain he is right in what he's doing, which is changing the economic balance between rich and poor. The rich are going to be made less rich, and those who are needy or request help are going to get more in government services, which the rich will pay for. He'd just as soon the middle class not get lost in the shuffle, but if they wind up marginally less middle class he won't be up nights. The point is redistribution.
Of course since all fiscal maneuvering, whether horizontal or vertical, conservative or liberal, Obama's or Paul Ryan's, is redistributive, the actual point is equality of opportunity, which conservatives such as Ms. Noonan routinely hail in moralistic rhetoric yet habitually neglect in political practice. Vast, unhealthy imbalances of wealth and power are to conservatives a secular expression of Calvinist Grace, rather than the unholy abominations they are--not so much acquired but perpetuated by preexisting imbalances.
A malnourished, ill-educated child of "help-requesting" parents isn't looking for all of life's early handouts that comfortably raised, well-fed and well-educated conservative commentators like Noonan and William Buckley Jr. and Bill Kristol received; the child asks only for the opportunity to fulfill his or her potential in life--and that human process, to use a coldly bureaucratic term, begins at a minimum with three health-inspected squares a day and a school that isn't collapsing and pure air to breath at recess and fresh water to drink thereafter and competently trained teachers who come to work on publicly maintained roads (which also carry the child's Socially Secured grandparents to their Medicare-insured doctor appointments), all of which, and all of whom, are protected by a mammothly expensive defense network.
And Ms. Noonan, there are no churches, voluntary associations, fraternal organizations or even municipalities and states that can provide, collectively, these modest beginnings of at least something approaching equal opportunity. Only the federal government can. And that, Ms. Noonan, requires redistribution. So sorry if that inconveniences you.