My Pockets Are Loaded

… and I’m spending every dime:

  • Today's pretty picture… well, it ain't that pretty at all:

    [spending binge]

    … simply showing a graph of spending by Your Federal Government as a percentage of GDP in the near past and projected future.

    It's from this WSJ article. You should read the whole thing, of course, but it demonstrates neatly what the fiscal debate is really about: it's between (a) Obama and the Democrats, who want to mostly keep in place the "emergency" spending levels from FY2008-2009, and (b) the GOP, who mostly want to return spending to the (already exorbitant) levels seen in 2003-2007.

    I wish the debate weren't merely between an obese government and a morbidly obese government. But…

  • The above neatly illustrates one of the oldest tricks in the power-hungry pol's playbook. You might want to pick up a copy of Robert Higgs' classic Crisis and Leviathan. The thesis: governments exploit perceived crises to ratchet up command and control—almost always marketed as regrettable "temporary measures". Once the crisis fades, the temporariness vanishes into the memory hole.

  • Amy Kane has more on the what-to-call-yourself problem, with a nice plug back to Pun Salad. She quotes from a great essay by Lew Rockwell, and I'll do the same:
    Every four years, as the November presidential election draws near, I have the same daydream: that I don't know or care who the president of the United States is. More importantly, I don't need to know or care. I don't have to vote or even pay attention to debates. I can ignore all campaign commercials. There are no high stakes for my family or my country. My liberty and property are so secure that, frankly, it doesn't matter who wins. I don't even need to know his name.

    In my daydream, the president is mostly a figurehead and a symbol, almost invisible to myself and my community. He has no public wealth at his disposal. He administers no regulatory departments. He cannot tax us, send our children into foreign wars, pass out welfare to the rich or the poor, appoint judges to take away our rights of self government, control a central bank that inflates the money supply and brings on the business cycle, or change the laws willy-nilly according to the special interests he likes or seeks to punish.

    We may not win; we may have to be satisfied with being right.

  • At Inside Higher Ed, Richard Whitmire explores yet another dirty little secret in college admissions: a lot of places effectively discriminate against woman applicants, admitting less-qualified males instead.

    Why? Because a sex-blind process would cause an even bigger disproportion of women on campus than already exists.

    But the funny part is yet to come. An investigation into this practice was recently quashed by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. It had been proposed by commission member Gail Heriot.

    Interestingly, Heriot gets no support from national women’s advocacy groups such as the National Organization for Women or the American Association of University Women, the very groups you’d expect to see rising up in protest over discrimination against young women. In fact, they opposed the probe. The women’s groups, says Heriot, see themselves as progressives favoring racial preferences. They fear any curtailment of the authority to favor men could lead to a twin curtailment placed on favoring minorities.
    Example number 10296 of womens' organizations more devoted to their leftist ideology than they are to—y'know—helping women.

  • If you're a TV watcher of a Certain Age, you might have noticed a Jet Blue commercial and asked, "Hey, isn't that… you know, that guy…"

    Why yes it is.

Last Modified 2012-09-26 1:21 PM EDT