“greed is most difficult to restrain when it is exercised through the medium of government”

Here is another fine essay by Arnold Kling. It raises some questions for New Mexicans: 1. Who do you think benefits from raising the minimum wage? 2. Who do you think benefits from trains to nowhere? 3. Who do you think benefits from a publicly financed spaceport? 4. Who do you think benefits from expansion of welfare?
You might be thinking about these questions as you listen to or read about the governor’s state of the state speech today.
A final question: who do you think pays for the groups’ benefits in the questions posed above?

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Groucho the Great

As hints for the forthcoming legislative session are beginning to appear I am reminded of Groucho the great philosoper:

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”
– Groucho Marx –

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Hey, Teddy, have another drink!

Quote of the Day (HT to John Fund of WSJ)
“Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), hosting a morning roundtable with
reporters, had nothing nice to say about Alito… Briefly, Kennedy
rewrote the outcome of the 1964 election. ‘This nominee was influenced
by the Goldwater presidency,’ he said. ‘The Goldwater battles of those
times were the battles against the civil rights laws.’ Only then did
Kennedy acknowledge that ‘Judge Alito at that time was 14 years old'” —
Washington Post’s Dana Milbank.

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Bigger Government Means Bigger Scandals

Former FEC chair Brad Smith has some good advice for Republicans, although I doubt they will take it:

…use this [Abramoff] scandal to cut the size of government. Go forward and make the case: “This, dear people, is what big government is. It is favors for special interests, unrestrained pork barrell spending, and a government so big you, dear voter, can’t begin to keep an eye on all parts of it. It is lobbyists and money and corruption. Lobbyists lobby because government is giving out favors and subsidies, writing exemptions into the tax code, regulating most things you do and claiming the right to regulate everything else. The solution is not more regulation. It is smaller government. Take the power away from the politicians.”

Of course, the advice is good for politicians of all stripes, not just Republicans.

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Chuck Muth has a nomination:
I hereby nominate lobbyist Jack Abramoff for Humanitarian of the Year. I’m dead serious. Ever since his guilty plea, scores of politicians from both parties have been donating money they received from Abramoff to various charities by the bucket-full. How long will it be before Howard Dean calls on a windfall profits tax on the American Heart Association on all the Abramoff money they’ve receive from politicians?

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On Government Spending Creating Jobs

Dave Barry’s take:

Of all the wonderful things government says, that’s always been just about my favorite. As opposed to if you get to keep the money. Because what you’ll do is go out and bury it in your yard, anything to prevent that money from creating jobs. They never stop saying it. They say it with a straight face and we in the press will write that down. We will say, “This is expected to create x number of jobs.” On the other hand, we never say that the money we removed from another part of the economy will kill some jobs.

How many net jobs do you think will be created by Medicaid spending, the Spaceport, the train to nowhere? Inquiring minds want to know.
Read entire Dave Barry interview here.

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Giving Up Essential Liberty?

Like Matt, I am more than a little bit nervous about eavesdropping on domestic phone calls.
Nevertheless I had to laugh at this gotcha to both sides of the partisan debate.
Let us not forget the perspective of Ben Franklin:

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty not safety..

You can be sure that your Foundation will be working tirelessly to defend liberty in 2006.
Update 12/28/05: More on giving up essential liberty in other contexts here.

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