More nonsense. Infrastructure is not a liberal idea, nor is it particularly new. The Via Appia was built 2,300 years ago. The Romans built aqueducts, too. And sewers.
Since forever, infrastructure has been consensually understood to be a core function of government.
The argument between left and right is about what you do beyond infrastructure.
It's about transfer payments and redistributionist taxation, about geometrically expanding entitlements, about tax breaks and subsidies to induce actions pleasing to central planners.
It's about free contraceptives for privileged students and welfare without work — the latest Obama entitlement-by-decree that would fatally undermine the great bipartisan welfare reform of 1996.
It's about endless government handouts that, ironically, are crowding out necessary spending on, yes, infrastructure.
What divides liberals and conservatives is not roads and bridges but Julia's world, an Obama campaign creation that may be the most self-revealing parody of liberalism ever conceived.
It's a series of cartoon illustrations in which a fictional Julia is swaddled and subsidized throughout her life by an all-giving government of bottomless pockets and "Queen for a Day" magnanimity.
At every stage, the state is there to provide-preschool classes and cut-rate college loans, birth control and maternity care, business loans and retirement. The only time she's on her own is at her gravesite.
Julia's world is totally atomized. It contains no friends, no community and, of course, no spouse. Who needs one?
She's married to the provider state.
Or to put it slightly differently, the "Life of Julia" represents the paradigmatic Obama political philosophy: citizen as orphan child.
For the conservative, providing for every need is the duty that government owes to actual orphan children. Not to supposedly autonomous adults.
Beyond infrastructure, the conservative sees the proper role of government as providing not European-style universal entitlements but a firm safety net, meaning Julia-like treatment for those who really cannot make it on their own — those too young or too old, too mentally or physically impaired, to provide for themselves.
Limited government so conceived has two indispensable advantages.
It avoids inexorable European-style national insolvency. And it avoids breeding debilitating individual dependency.
It encourages and celebrates character, independence, energy, hard work as the foundations of a free society and a thriving economy — precisely the virtues Obama discounts and devalues in his accounting of the wealth of nations.
Krauthammer's email address is lett...@charleskrauthammer.com.