Arnold Kling  

Unchecked Government Marches On

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Fixing Medicare with Vouchers... Unchecked Government Marches O...

Without irony, the Washington Post headline blares,


FTC Wants to Know What Big Brother Knows About You

The crime under investigation is targeted advertising on the Internet, where firms use databases to try to serve ads that are relevant to you, rather than random. I am not sure that we should be concerned about database-driven marketing. I am much more concerned about the real Big Brother in this case, which is the FTC.

Turning to the editorial page, we have


Arcane and often irrational, its subsidy provisions can be difficult to understand and, sometimes, even difficult to identify. Even after Congress passed a subsidy-riddled 673-page farm bill last week, with a price tag conservatively set at $289 billion, it was not entirely clear just how big a burden lawmakers had imposed on taxpayers. Now, however, the fine print is coming into focus, and -- surprise! -- the bill could authorize up to $16 billion more in crop subsidies than previously projected

Back on the front page, the lead story begins,

The House easily overrode President Bush's veto of a $307 billion farm bill last night in what appeared to be the most significant legislative rebuff of Bush's presidency.

In the reporter's judgment, the most important thing about the farm bill is that it is a rebuff to President Bush. So if you hate Bush, you should love the farm bill?

Moreover, this is the the most significant legislative rebuff. Even more significant than refusing to consider any of the President's proposals to reform Social Security or the tax treatment of health benefits, apparently.

But not to worry. This will all change in January. President Obama will not be rebuffed. He voted for the farm bill.



COMMENTS (3 to date)
Luke Stiles writes:

Obama didn't vote for it, but merely supported it. Perhaps the same, but perhaps politically savvy. I hope we get to find out, and that he surprises us.

Re: "with a price tag conservatively set at $289 billion, it was not entirely clear just how big a burden lawmakers had imposed on taxpayers. Now ... surprise! -- the bill could authorize up to $16 billion more"

Maybe the FTC could go after Congress for fraudulent trade practices?

And how about those political fund raising specialists who track donors and send out targeted mailings?

Brian writes:

Jesse Walker points to the fact that Congress passed a Farm bill that omitted a 34 page section and led Bush to veto a farm bill different from the one Congress originally passed.

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