In season two episode 20 of The West Wing, the Democratic president’s liberal staff are thrilled when CBO projections lower the predicted budget surplus. “We’re the first presidential administration in history to be happy about lower economic growth,” one says to the other.
Why are they happy? Because it gives them more strength to resist congressional Republicans who want to lower tax rates for the wealthy.
I think this episode is on to something. Leftism isn’t about creating wealth as much as increased equality of opportunity. Leftists venerate anti-racism and economic equality. Rightists venerate free markets and tradition.