It’s crucial to keep state and local government in mind when you hear people ranting about runaway government spending under President Obama. Yes, the federal government is spending more, although not as much as you might think. But state and local governments are cutting back. And if you add them together, it turns out that the only big spending increases have been in safety-net programs like unemployment insurance, which have soared in cost thanks to the severity of the slump.So the $3 trillion in deficit spending over the last two years is "not as much as you might think?" Spend five minutes with Google, and you'll discover that total government spending -- federal, state and local -- was 6.9 percent of GDP in 1900. This year, it will be 40 percent. That's more than $6 trillion. Yet Krugman wants all government to spend more. The more the better. Total state control goes along with that.
Reader comment of the day, found on wapo:
...I wish leftists would not use the term "progressives." My family has lived under socialism, and there is nothing "progressive" about a command-economy, secret police, gulags, government enforced mediocrity, voter-intimidation, loss of liberty, or the other "blessings of socialism." Obama-slobberers really need to spend some time in a socialist country, and then maybe they will understand why refugees come here rather than flee to North Korea or China. Even Michael Moore left Cuba.Along these lines, from John Krausher, a communications consulting, writing for FoxForum:
....Moynihan further observed that, “The liberal left can be as rigid and destructive as any force in American life.”And some wonder why we're where we are.
It’s ironic that for all of the liberal left’s piousness regarding values like tolerance, privacy and conservation, we see many examples of hypocrisy in their views. The liberal left demand tolerance for their free speech and protests, but want their critics suppressed or silenced. Liberal leftists find no problem with privacy invasion if bureaucrats muck around in your medical records or hackers publish Sarah Palin’s private e-mails. Apparently it’s “do as I say, not as I do” when liberal leftists like Al Gore and Barbra Streisand live in energy-hogging mansions and travel the world in fuel-guzzling private jets. Meantime, they lecture conservatives and want them to pay dearly because of their “carbon footprints.”
President Obama is trying to rally his liberal left base to turn out and vote in November. But the rigidity and destructiveness of the liberal left may backfire on the president. Liberal left excesses will motivate Republicans and Independents upset with Obama’s leftist policies to turn out in droves, swamping the number of liberal leftists who actually vote.
Moynihan said that, "Liberalism faltered when it turned out it could not cope with truth."
As that applies on Election Day — and going forward — Daniel Patrick Moynihan may turn out to be more prescient than anyone.