I was busy yesterday so the discussion has passed this by a bit, but I do appreciate your response and I wanted to hit a couple of things quickly (in addition to what others have already responded to):
I am probably a bit to the right of where you think I am, though definitely to the left of yourself. I believe that, in general, there should be a compelling reason if we are going to do something through government instead of through markets. The classic (traditionally right-leaning!) economic literature calls out most of the places where markets tend to fail and where regulation or intervention would be appropriate: externalities, natural monopolies, and other situations where supply/demand on their own do not lead to the value-maximizing result.
In many of the situations you’re describing, the government does a poor (or inefficient, really) job… and getting them out entirely would only make things worse. To me that’s an argument for finding a better way to do it, rather than to not do it at all. Or the classic fiscal conservative question of, “does the government really need to do this, and if so, is there a better or more efficient way?” We have some good threads about that question here, but in Congress it’s just about burning it all down.
I do not believe that this is true; or more to the point, I believe this is true for me and my (proverbial) children, and is probably true for you and your children, but it is not true for a substantial portion (maybe even majority) of Americans. A wide-ranging group that includes constituencies of both parties is facing less opportunity than their parents’ generation, and the likelihood that their children will have even less. This opportunity will be narrowed further by the several attacks this tax bill takes at the education system (school supply deduction, pressure on the state/local taxes that fund schools, tuition deduction, graduate education deduction). Further still by deficit increases so that later generations will have higher taxes, fewer services, or both as a result. Crippling the tools that would allow the non-elite to realize opportunity and potential.