Passage of the Day


Meyerson's insane claim that Bush's "economic libertarianism" turned New Orleans into an "immense morgue" shows he is living inside a hallucination even more surreal than Dowd's and Krugman's. Bush is to economic libertarianism what Kirstie Alley is to emaciation. A president who fattened farm subsidies, installed tariffs for steel and lumber, doled out a massive new prescription drug benefit, and nationalized airline security, folding it into a vast, cumbersome, dangerously ineffectual bureaucracy, is hardly channeling the ghost of Murray Rothbard. Last year the administration slapped a whopping 113% tariff on shrimp from China designed to protect Louisiana shrimpers from market competition. In what alternative universe is that laissez faire?
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This makes sense in

This makes sense in Meyerson's universe. In general, he would probably say Bush is a "libertarian" because:
1. He allows a minimum wage less than $8-10 dollars an hour (poverty is caused by low wages)
2. Americans have to obtain their own health insurance, when we could have a paradise of universal health care instead
3. The laws are not made such that unions are the most powerful actors in the labor market
4. Welfare does not provide sufficient money to move people into the middle class
I've read his columns, and he seems to believe that in general, anything less than a totally comprehensive social welfare state where everything is paid for (health care, education, child care, old age, etc) and wages are set high by law qualifies as libertarian (and evil).

I had the same debate over

I had the same debate over at The Bellman.

He focused more on the "budget cuts of disaster agencies" while admitting overall government expansion.

Yeah, I've heard a lot of

Yeah, I've heard a lot of liberals assume that if a president is Republican, then he somehow favors small government. Budgetary numbers are generally unconvincing to them.

To Bush's small credit, he did not militarily occupy a state and usurp local powers when given an opportunity to do so. Just as a toddler should be congratulated when he manages to go potty by himself, so should Bush be favored for managing to restrain himself for once.