“No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions.” – Thomas Jefferson
Jonah Goldberg | In a Welfare State, How Much is ‘Enough’?
The flames from Greece’s debt crisis protests have cast new light on the perils of our own overspending and overborrowing. You know the litany. California is imploding. Public sector unions there, and across the country, are swallowing budgets. In California alone, pension costs have gone up 2,000 percent in a decade. At the national level, ObamaCare has done little to fix — and much to hurt — America’s long-term entitlement mess. Already, America’s structural deficit has tripled since 2007. Economist Price Fishback has just published a paper finding that America spends more on social welfare than socialist Sweden (though we spend it differently).
According to USA Today, “paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in U.S. history during the first quarter of this year,” while government benefits rose to a record high. In fact, government employment is becoming a method of redistributing wealth. In 2009, the federal payroll grew and the number of federal jobs paying over $100,000 a year doubled.
The average federal worker earns over 70 percent more than the average private sector worker, writes Arthur Brooks in his new book “The Battle”: “To find this acceptable, you must agree that the average federal worker is much more productive or deserving than the average person in the private sector.”
Ed Morrissey of Hot Air | FTC to “reinvent” journalism
The nation needs a strong, independent press, the FTC argues, and so they want to find ways for government to “reinvent” journalism. If that sounds vaguely Orwellian to you, the actual language in the Federal Trade Commission’s discussion-points memo should have hairs standing on the backs of necks across the nation. It shows a wildly laughable rationale for government intervention that would prop up the failing newspaper model in a manner that would put the entire industry at the mercy of the federal bureaucracy it’s supposed to keep in check.
The paper notes “experimentation” of media outlets on the Internet, a rather strange term considering that most media outlets have used the Internet for years. Major newspapers have been on line for well over a decade. After framing that as “experimentation,” the FTC then argues that it won’t work.
Michael Medved | The Oil Spill, Obama and the Big Government Ideology
According to a recent Gallup Poll, some 60% of the public believes that the federal government is doing a “poor” or “very poor” job in handling the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Why, then, would any sane individual support the idea of giving these same bumblers enhanced control of other key areas in our lives –like the health care industry, the car companies, or the banking system?
The looming environmental catastrophe not only reveals the hapless, flailing ineptitude of the Obama administration, but far more importantly demonstrates the limited ability of Washington itself to solve the big problems of American life. That’s why the oil spill presents such a painful predicament for Democrats everywhere—even those Democrats who have begun to question and criticize the president for his handling of the disaster. No, it’s not “Obama’s Katrina”—it’s actually much worse for his party and for his political philosophy.