FDRI had no idea that FDR had ever said anything like this.  He sounds like Mark Steyn himself, who first persuaded me that forced redistribution is not only bad for the “makers”, but also for the “takers”—that is, the welfare state is not only bad economics, but more importantly, it also tends to infantilize its recipients; it is corrosive of the very human spirit.

Don’t take my word for it; read FDR’s words for yourself.  Here they are, in context:

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Abolish the IRS

May 23, 2013

True the Vote founder Catherine EngelbrechtAs Mark Levin and others have observed, the recent IRS abuses are not unique to the Obama administration.  (See 5/20/13 broadcast, elsewhere.)  As L. Gordon Crovitz says,

There is a long history of presidents using the IRS against political enemies. FDR went after newspapers that opposed the New Deal. JFK had his Ideological Organizations Audit Project target conservative groups like the American Enterprise Institute. Richard Nixon used the IRS to harass people on his enemies list.

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Via Eternity Matters: Even liberal Jon Stewart finds it troubling that the federal government targeted Tea Party groups because of their political views (warning: language):

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(Come for the pretty graphs; stay for the mounting sense of terror!)

I thought it would be useful to have all these data together in one place for easy reference, illustrated with easy-to-understand graphs, with links to solid sources.  I’ve even added a convenient hyperlinked table of contents:

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I certainly don’t want to lean too heavily on this—confounding variables and all that—but I know that at least one reader of this blog finds this kind of evidence very persuasive.  (I’m sure he’ll convert to conservatism immediately upon seeing this…)

Via Haemet and Breitbart.com, Examiner.com reports that Republican governors are correlated with falling unemployment rates recently.  (Eternity Matters also mentioned this, whence the pithy title.)

According to Examiner.com, 17 new Republican governors (elected in the 2010 Tea Party tsunami) first took office in January 2011; 8 new Democrat governors were also elected and took office at the same time.

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Julia

May 11, 2012

Everyone is talking about this “slideshow” put out by Barackobama.com last week.  It depicts the life of Julia (“who has no face”), a hypothetical woman who is dependent on the government at every stage of life, thanks to the policies of President Obama.  Except that’s presented as a good thing.  The slideshow is a cornucopia of half-truths, question begging, and born-yesterday utopianism.

As an antidote, the Heritage Foundation offers an alternative slideshow explaining why conservative reforms would be better, and exposing the hollowness of some of Barackobama’s arguments.  It doesn’t address everything, either—and I’d prefer much less government than either of them considers an option right now—but it’s an improvement.

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Save Scott Walker

April 11, 2012

In 2011, Wisconsin and Ohio both passed laws repealing, to a significant extent, the mistake of public-sector unions.  (Public-sector unions are a relatively recent innovation; they necessarily create conflicts of interest and represent a structural problem for democracy.)  The Ohio reform was then itself repealed by ballot initiative, in a campaign funded largely by out-of-state union money.

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Via COAST and the Washington Examiner, according to a Rasmussen poll, even government workers admit (46-32) that government workers don’t work as hard as the rest of us.  (The original Rasmussen report is apparently here, but full article available only with subscription.)

Note that federal-government employees are also paid a lot better for their lackluster work.

…and it hasn’t even been fully implemented yet.

At National Review Online, Avik Roy offers an thorough but concise overview of all that has happened in the last year relating to Obamacare, with copious links to his sources.  A few excerpts:

Massachusetts continued to give us a preview of what Obamacare would do to the country. In May, studies found that, contrary to what was promised, the new health-care regime increased emergency-room crowding, and increased already-long wait times for doctors’ appointments.

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I visited the FDR Memorial the other day.  It’s full of quotes from the man, many of which have to do with the New Deal (“I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a New Deal for the American People”).  Many of them, on their face, might be ambiguous or generically in favor of helping the poor, but in the context of history, knowing what he actually did as president (the New Deal), it’s clear that he’s talking specifically about government policy.  In other words, FDR fell into the common liberal error (was it common then?) of conflating voluntary charitable help with forced redistribution.  Here’s just one example:  Read the rest of this entry »

Acting Against Interest

February 28, 2012

I was reading a piece by a certain liberal columnist recently, and it struck me that the author, and other liberals I’ve heard, have two very different ways of thinking about voters’ acting against their (presumed, by liberalism) self-interest:

  • If they’re poor or middle-class, and they support lower taxes and less spending on “entitlement” programs (i.e., they want to seize less of the property of the wealthy for themselves), it’s treated as some kind of bizarre anomaly that cries out for explanation (possibly involving staggering stupidity), even a moral failing (e.g., by Paul Krugman or blog commenter Snoodickle). Read the rest of this entry »

Sixteen scientists in the opinion section of the Wall Street Journal argue, “No Need to Panic About Global Warming: There’s no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to ‘decarbonize’ the world’s economy”.  Selected excerpts (emphasis added):

In spite of a multidecade international campaign to enforce the message that increasing amounts of the “pollutant” carbon dioxide will destroy civilization, large numbers of scientists, many very prominent, share the opinions of Dr. Giaever. And the number of scientific “heretics” is growing with each passing year. The reason is a collection of stubborn scientific facts.

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Far-flung Fancies is talking about something I had never heard of until recently: “Hauser’s Law”.

As Mr. Hauser explains,

Over the past six decades, tax revenues as a percentage of GDP have averaged just under 19% regardless of the top marginal personal income tax rate. The top marginal rate has been as high as 92% (1952-53) and as low as 28% (1988-90). . . .

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Eternity Matters discusses (with illustrations) why the welfare state is bad, not just in any particular execution of the idea, but intrinsically.  It’s short; read it—if not to believe and understand the world better, then at least to understand conservatives’ point of view a little bit better.

If Only

October 30, 2011

As reported by ABC News, apparently with a straight face:

At a million-dollar San Francisco fundraiser today, President Obama warned his recession-battered supporters that if he loses the 2012 election it could herald a new, painful era of self-reliance in America.

(Hat tip to Mark Steyn.)

The Wall Street Journal summarizes Washington’s generous contributions to the problem:  The Keystone XL oil pipeline could create more than a hundred thousand jobs, and an environmental review says it poses no threat to the environment, but the administration has held it up for three years anyway.  Administrative agencies generated 81,405 pages’ worth of new regulations last year, “bringing the total cost to the U.S. economy of regulatory compliance to an estimated $1.7 trillion a year.”  And so on.   Read the rest of this entry »

Tea Party Debt Commission

October 4, 2011

Here’s an interesting idea: a Tea Party Debt Commission, organized by Freedom Works:

What is the Tea Party Debt Commission?

. . .

The Commission consists of 12 members, paralleling the structure of the new “deficit reduction super committee” created by Congress as part of the recent debt ceiling compromise.  Committee members are volunteer tea party activists and leaders . . . .   Read the rest of this entry »

Paul Ryan vs. the status quoAs I’ve discussed before, no matter how you measure it, government is big, and getting bigger all the time.  Comparatively speaking, Democrats are certainly the party of higher taxes, more spending, a greater regulatory burden, and more “entitlements”, but the government only ever seems to get bigger, under Democrats or Republicans.  Read the rest of this entry »

Heard on Sean Hannity’s radio show yesterday (quotes are approximate):

HANNITY: I’m joined now by the Architect, Karl Rove.  How are you?

ROVE: I’m pretty good, ’cause I’m in Texas, not in D. C.

He said it because Hannity had just been talking about the earthquake in D. C., but it’s a great metaphor for a lot of other things.

I’ve called before for a “Separation of School and State” on the grounds that the education itself is different—and not as good, for the recipient or for the rest of us—to the extent that it is paid for by the government.

This week in National Review Online, Michael Barone discusses another reason:  Government’s attempts to help are actually making college more expensive.  Read the rest of this entry »