from The Great Debate:

Troubled Ties: The Clintons and populism

By Bill Schneider
January 6, 2014

What's behind the sudden outburst of populism in the Democratic Party?

Partly the weak economic recovery. Most economic indicators have turned positive -- economic growth is up, unemployment down, the housing market is in recovery. But ordinary Americans are not feeling it. In last month's CNN poll, two thirds of Americans said the nation's economy was poor. More than half expect it to remain poor a year from now.

from The Great Debate:

Democrats must overcome Clinton nostalgia

By Robert L. Borosage
June 3, 2013

President Bill Clinton salutes supporters at a campaign rally Oct. 31, 1996. REUTERS/Archive. 

from The Great Debate:

Can GOP blame Obama for the sequester?

By Bill Schneider
February 19, 2013

More than 25 years ago, Representative Jack Kemp told me, “In the past, the left had a thesis: spending, redistribution of wealth and deficits. Republicans were the antithesis: spending is bad.”

from The Edgy Optimist:

Obama sees the limits of government

By Zachary Karabell
February 15, 2013

President Barack Obama made the middle class the focus of his State of the Union address on Tuesday. He was lauded by some as fighting for jobs and opportunity, and even for launching a “war on inequality” equivalent to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1960s War on Poverty. He was assailed by others for showing his true colors as a man of big government and wealth redistribution.

from David Rohde:

Obama’s ‘war on inequality’

By David Rohde
February 14, 2013

He quoted Jack Kennedy but sounded more like Lyndon Johnson.

In an audacious State of the Union address Tuesday, President Barack Obama made sweeping proposals to reduce poverty, revive the middle class and increase taxes on the “well off.” While careful to not declare it outright, an emboldened second-term president laid out an agenda that could be called a “war on inequality.”

from James Pethokoukis:

Six ways government helped cause the financial crisis

December 22, 2010

Market failure or government failure? The BigGov party is promoting the former narrative, but the latter is more accurate in explaining how government created incentives for disaster. Mark Perry and Robert Dell lay it all out. Here is a sampling, but I urge you to read the whole thing:

from James Pethokoukis:

The new Era of Big Government … is not popular

October 29, 2010

I think this Gallup chart is pretty stunning, especially when higher economic insecurity was supposed to push Americans toward a greater embrace of government. And it did for a bit, but that effect has more than reversed itself:

from James Pethokoukis:

Will Washington bail out the MSM with an iPad tax?

June 3, 2010

This is actually quite astonishing. A "staff discussion draft" from the Federal Trade Commission recommends ways the government can save journalism.  First, it lists a number of ways Washington can subsidize the media (to the tune of $35 billion a year):

from James Pethokoukis:

Big Government and the Big Split

December 28, 2009

The WSJ nicely sums up 2008:

To prevent crumbling housing and credit markets from sinking the broad economy, the Bush and Obama administrations and the Federal Reserve spent, lent and invested more than $2 trillion on one initiative after another. If you owned a credit card or a money-market fund, had a savings account, bought a Dodge pickup or even a hunting rifle, or borrowed to buy a home or finance a small business, odds are good that the U.S. stood behind you or the firm that served you.

from James Pethokoukis:

Tracking the ‘Nanny State’ deficit

June 29, 2009

From Ed Yardeni:

Meanwhile, the “Nanny State Deficit” soared to a record $740.9bn (saar). It is simply the gap between the social benefits provided by the government minus the payroll taxes paid by employees and employers to pay for them. This deficit was close to zero at the start of 2001, the start of the data in the monthly personal income release. Such benefits were equivalent to 34.1% of wages and salaries in May. That’s a record high and well above readings of 10% before the start of the Great Society in the mid-1960s.