Thursday, January 20, 2011

From Bad to Worse

George Will pens an excellent article in the Washington Post about the growing scope of Washington’s legislative reach.  He refers to it as a hubris; a misguided sense by our current leaders that every social problem can be solved by federal legislation, which always comes at a cost to our liberty. 

Will goes on to say the problem will only grow worse.  Washington, although you wouldn’t know it, operates with limited resources.  Those resources are going to shrink even as the area of responsibility continues to grow.  This inevitably leads to bad government – government overpromising and under delivering.

Washington needs to vastly scale backs its efforts to solve every social problem that comes along.  The hubris needs a dose of reality.  The question is, will Washington listen.


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  2. I see this growing problem as two-fold, maybe three. The very first is that economic planning fails, yet our free-market system is being replaced by federal rule making (legislative and regulatory). Now, as Washington takes over more and more of the economy, it is becoming evident that our leaders are desperately lacking in the economic training that would allow them to understand the consequences of their actions.

    Obama is by trade a lawyer, educated at Harvard. Before being elected president, he served two years in the US Senate, and was a state senator prior to that. As far as we know, he’s held no executive positions – positions that would require even the occasional economic analysis. Now, this isn’t so much a problem if the executive branch refrained from dabbling in economic matters. Had Mr. Obama limited himself to matters of foreign policy and commander-in-chief, his lack of economic training would not have been all that glaring. But, he has chosen to not just dabble in the economy, but completely rearrange major sectors – healthcare and financials. Obama signed two major pieces of legislation, each over 2,000 pages long! I’m willing to bet he read nary a page, and even if he had, it would have been a waste of his time – for even a battalion of economists could not possibly determine with any degree of precision the effects of this legislative wrath.

    My point is that as we elect leaders deficient in finance and economics who are hell-bent on intervening in the economy, we can continue to expect very bad results.