Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Big Government on Trial

Charles Lane on the liberal hysteria on the soon to be released Supreme Court Obamacare ruling.

He does a nice job of putting the matter into historical context. During the 1930s and the New Deal, it was conservatives who got all hysterical about what the court allowed President Roosevelt and the federal government to do. Such an expansion of the government was unheard of and constitutionally suspect. But the court acquiesced.

Times change. Writes Lane:
In the 1930s, expanding federal power was innovative, promising. By blessing it, the court aligned itself with the wave of the future, in this country and globally. Ditto for the 1960s. Much of the legislation that resulted — from Social Security to the Voting Rights Act — was indeed progressive.
Today, however, there is nothing new about federal intervention — and much evidence from the past 70 years that big programs produce inefficiencies and unintended consequences.
The post-New Deal consensus about the scope of federal power has broken down amid national, and global, concern over the welfare state’s cost and intrusiveness — a sea change of which the tea party is but one manifestation. Obamacare itself, which has consistently polled badly, fueled that movement.
There is still a good chance that the court won't overturn Obamacare. But whether it does or not, concern about the size and scope of government won't disappear. It will continue to grow due to the building consensus that government is too big, too intrusive and too ineffective.


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