Daniel Mitchell, one of my favorite Fellows at one of my favorite think tanks (which I heartily encourage you to support) takes Andrew Sullivan to the woodshed today for suggesting that Herbert Hoover wanted to reduce the burden of government spending:
I went to the Historical Tables of the Budget and looked up the annual spending data. As you can see from the chart, it turns out that Hoover increased government spending by 47 percent in just four years (if you adjust for falling prices, as Russ Roberts did at Cafe Hayek, it turns out that Hoover increased government spending by more than 50 percent). . . .
Sullivan’s mistake is understandable. The historical analysis and understanding of the Great Depression is woefully inadequate, and millions of people genuinely believe that Hoover was an early version of Ronald Reagan.
The historical record shows that Herbert Hoover was a big spender and the stock market crash that occurred under his watch (not, as Joe Biden has suggested, under FDR’s) led to a prolonged downturn.
When in the White House, Ronald Reagan, even facing off against a big-spending Speaker of the House, did his utmost to hold the line of federal spending. And the economy boomed. Perhaps, the incumbent president would do well to emulate the Gipper instead of following in Herbert Hoover’s footsteps.
(h/t – Gateway Pundit
The Carter record is a litany of despair, of broken promises, of sacred trusts abandoned and forgotten. Eight million — eight million out of work. Inflation running at 18 percent in the first quarter of this year. Black unemployment at 14 percent, higher than any single year since the government began keeping separate statistics. Four straight major deficits run up by Carter and his friends in Congress. The highest interest rates since the Civil War, reaching at times close to 20 percent, lately they’re down to more than 11 percent but now they’ve begun to go up again. Productivity falling for six straight quarters among the most productive people in the world.Through his inflation he has raised taxes on the American people by 30 percent, while their real income has risen only 20 percent. The Lady standing there in the harbor has never betrayed us once. But this Administration in Washington has betrayed the working men and women of this country.
The President promised that he would not increase taxes for the low and middle-income people, the workers of America. Then he imposed on American families the largest single tax increase in our nation’s history. His answer to all this misery? He tries to tell us that we’re “only” in a recession, not a depression, as if definitions, words, relieve our suffering.
Let it show on the record that when the American people cried out for economic help, Jimmy Carter took refuge behind a dictionary. Well if it’s a definition — if it’s a definition he wants, I’ll give him one. A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.
I would point out that there are now over 16 million Americans unemployed, many for the longest duration since WWII. And African-American unemployment is close to 17%, higher than when Reagan gave this speech.
Substitute “Jimmy Carter” for “Barack Obama” in Reagan’s speech and it still measures up today. I hope we make it to November 2012 when we can show Obama the definition of true recovery.
In the third debate of the 2008 presidential campaign, candidate Barack Obama said:
But there is no doubt that we’ve been living beyond our means and we’re going to have to make some adjustments.
Now, what I’ve done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut.
Today we read that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that President Obama’s “stimulus” nearly doubled the national debt:
A new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) finds that President Obama’s economic stimulus program helped nearly double U.S. debt.
The 2011 Long-Term Budget Outlook, released Wednesday morning, reports that the “the combination of automatic budgetary responses” and Obama’s stimulus “had a profound impact on the federal budget.” According to CBO projections, before Obama’s stimulus became law, federal debt equaled 36 percent of GDP and was projected to decline slightly over the next few years. Instead, thanks in large part to the stimulus, debt reached 62 percent of GDP by 2010.
Under Barack Obama, we’re continuing to living beyond our means.
I couldn’t agree more with this post from Matthew Yglesias:
Something that I think most people don’t realize is that for the vast majority of American history, the judicial branch has been a very conservative elite-dominated institution. Most people’s view of the matter is distorted by the historical aberration that occurred roughly between the Brown andRoe decisions, with a lot of good criminal justice decisions in between. Even there, one has to recall that with its landmark civil rights decisions, the Supreme Court was in large part just reversing what the late 19th century Supreme Court did by throwing out the civil rights legislation of the Grant administration.
Emphasis added. Well said. Read the whole thing.
There is much, much more to this, particularly as it pertains to gays. I have always believed that social change comes from our communities, through private institutions and enterprises. It is not the government’s role to foster social change nor to prevent it from happening organically.
Had I not chanced upon this piece a few minutes before bed, I might have more to say on it, but for now, I think it’s important to alert our readers to the post, especially because a liberal blogger is putting forward a view in sync with conservative legal scholars.
FROM THE COMMENTS: Jim Hlavac offers:
Virtually all gains made by gay folks in the past 40 years towards our acceptance as decent people has been made without legislative or judicial help; and sometimes even despite laws and rulings against us. No court ruling is going to change anyone’s mind about us. Long before laws against us were removed we had already started the process of removing the negativism, person by person, mostly starting with our families and hetero friends. Even Bowers v. Hardwick did not dent the trend, nor did Lawrence push it. And the trend is still moving forward.
Exactly. Read the whole thing!
It seems that Sarah Palin arrived just in time for the Bush-hating left. In 2008, as the much (and mostly unfairly) maligned President of the United States was preparing to head off into a constitutionally-mandated retirement, his political party nominated the charismatic governor of Alaska as its vice presidential candidate.
And ever since, those who once projected their inner demons on George W. Bush found a new target for their wrath. He might be going into retirement, but they would still have a Republican to revile.
So much has their demonology of Sarah Palin developed that her haters remain clueless how this accomplished reformer earned so much respect among Republican reformers — even before John McCain tapped the Alaskan as his running mate. Indeed, mainstream media outlets were so convinced they’d find dirt in her recently released e-mails that they dispatched as many as thirty reporters to Juneau to sift through them.
They were simply not prepared to discover e-mails which showed a focused and energetic executive doing her job. The emails, as the editors of the Richmond Times-Dispatch put it, “have redounded to the author’s benefit and have left her critics dismayed” (via Instapundit).
They were dismayed because the e-mails did not confirm their conviction of her incompetence. Reality did not conform to their narrative.
Maybe if they had actually bothered studying her record as governor of the Last Frontier, they might realize that she reached across the partisan divide to accomplish real change for Alaska, where she was, to borrow an expression, a kind of a post-partisan politician. They wouldn’t have been so dismayed had they taken the time to study her record and consider her accomplishments, instead of viciously responding to her nomination.