Americans already expressed record satisfaction on economic conditions in the U.S., over three years…
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Image of the Day: Economy Even Better Than We Realized

Americans already expressed record satisfaction on economic conditions in the U.S., over three years into President Trump's tenure.  Turns out that things are even better than we initially realized, as employment data from the end of 2019 was just significantly updated:

. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="480"] Even Better Than First Realized[/caption]

 

.  …[more]

February 14, 2020 • 10:06 am

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ObamaCare Shatters Progressive Dreams Print
By Troy Senik
Thursday, October 17 2013
The parts of ObamaCare that haven’t worked, have been delayed. The parts that haven’t been delayed, haven’t worked.

Since the rise of the Progressive movement over a century ago, liberalism has been enchanted by the idea of enlightened administration — of beneficent, all-knowing bureaucrats who could steer public policy and shape it towards the public good, usually without the messy restraints of democracy or constitutional strictures.

Edward Mandell House, the right hand of President Woodrow Wilson (himself the foremost apostle of this approach) even published a novel in 1912, Phillip Dru: Administrator, featuring a protagonist who overthrows the federal government, abolishes the Constitution and becomes the nation’s (ostensibly) benevolent dictator.

It’s easy to dismiss such fantasies as the naïve delusions of utopians who had yet to witness the slaughter that would be wrought by the central planning of the 20th century. While there may be some truth to that, it lets the left off entirely too easily.

Today’s progressives may no longer be dreaming of benevolent fascism, but they still, by necessity, retain a belief in government’s ability to manage every corner of American life through a mix of technical expertise and goodwill. Indeed, it’s a precondition of faith in big government to believe that members of the governing class are possessed of talents and insights not available elsewhere in society.

Among Beltway journalists, no one better personifies this enduring conviction than Ezra Klein, the California wunderkind who helms the Washington Post’s immodestly titled “Wonkblog” and regularly opines on public policy in excruciating deal. That Klein is both fiercely intelligent and devoutly committed to the dream of a state run on progressive principles only makes it all the more salient that he recently felt compelled to criticize liberalism’s holy grail. 

Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe earlier this week, Klein candidly admitted of ObamaCare’s website, “The way this IT is going out is a disaster. They have done a terrible job on this website. We’re a couple weeks in now. People can’t sign up. People have tried 20, 30, 40 times. It’s one thing for that to be true in the first three or four days, it’s another for it to be true two or three weeks in.”

He went on: “One of the Obama administration’s jobs, separate from all of the political stuff we talk about here, is to simply run things like this well, to run their signature legislative initiative well, to do government in a way that makes people confident and able to use it. On that, so far, this has been a big failure.”

Klein is to be commended for his honesty, even if he’s not able to make the inductive leap to understanding that the failings of ObamaCare’s website are a proxy for the broader pretensions of liberalism. The Obama Administration can’t build confidence in government because government is incapable of running programs this complex with anything resembling competence. If the White House can’t help but bollox a simple web rollout, what do Klein and his ilk think will happen when its tentacles extend through the entire health industry, which constitutes 1/6 of the nation’s economy? The signs aren’t hopeful. The parts of ObamaCare that haven’t worked, have been delayed. The parts that haven’t been delayed, haven’t worked.

The dashing of these liberal fantasies (President Obama himself compared healthcare.gov to shopping mega-sites like Kayak and Amazon upon its rollout – an analogy that grows more absurd by the day) should simultaneously be a source of conservative hope. As the economist Herb Stein famously quipped, that which is unsustainable will inevitably end. With every passing day, there is more evidence that ObamaCare cannot withstand the weight of its own promises.

There has been a fear in some conservative circles that once the program begins distributing subsidies hither and yon it will be irreparably woven into the fabric of American life. That concern would be more justified were the program a simple wealth transfer. Because it also seeks to fundamentally reshape the nature of health care provision, however, its costs are far more transparent. Consumers can see the increased premiums they’re forced to pay under ObamaCare’s new regulations. They are told when their hours are being cut to avoid the employer mandate. They receive the notice in the mail when their existing plan is cancelled.

ObamaCare’s failures will be prolonged and public. Despite that fact, the faith of progressive ideologues in the fundamental virtues of government planning will likely remain unshaken. The prospect of voters being similarly accommodating, however, is another matter altogether.

Question of the Week   
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"For once, common sense has won the day in Virginia politics. And yes, even a few Democrats deserve credit this time.On Monday, the Mike Bloomberg and Gov. Ralph Northam-backed 'assault weapons' ban that passed the Virginia House of Delegates died in the state Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill would have outlawed future sales of so-called assault weapons, including popular firearm models such as…[more]
 
 
—Brad Polumbo, Washington Examiner
— Brad Polumbo, Washington Examiner
 
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