James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

Google: Freedom is important, too

Mar 25, 2010 12:32 UTC

Heartened to hear the words of Google co-founder Sergey Brin in the WSJ:

China has “made great strides against poverty and whatnot,” Mr. Brin said. “But nevertheless, in some aspects of their policy, particularly with respect to censorship, with respect to surveillance of dissidents, I see the same earmarks of totalitarianism, and I find that personally quite troubling.”

Me: I especially like the “whatnot” part. Prosperity is important. But so is freedom. And the West waits for China to make as much progress with political freedom as it has with economic freedom — though even the latter has a long way to go. More change will come, especially as this generation of leadership passes

The risks of a deficit commission

Mar 25, 2010 12:29 UTC

We now know the makeup of President Obama’s bipartisan deficit commission. There are 10 Ds and 8 Rs with 14 votes needed to approve a recommendation As I go down the membership list, I see a lot of folks who are likely believers in the new Washington Consensus — significant spending cuts won’t help so big tax hikes are necessary. Of course, study after study shows big tax hikes are a terrible way to bring deficits under control. They kill growth which makes balancing the budget even harder since revenues are deflated.

Yup, America hates Big Anything

Mar 25, 2010 12:27 UTC

A new poll shows Americans hate Wall Street. Of course, bankers are never popular. But maybe never less so than right now. Yet polls also show Americans cynical about Big Anything — Big Money, Big Business, Big Government. As Sen. John McCain likes to say, the approval ratings of Congress are so low, its only supporters must be paid staffers and blood relatives.

That helps explains why the nation has not been flocking to government-created solutions such as the stimulus plan and healthcare reform. This isn’t a time when Americans are shifting from believing in markets to believing in government. It’s a time when the last remaining shred of faith in the country’s elite is quickly eroding.

COMMENT

I beg to differ, the US loves huge arsenals of weapons, nukes, oil, junk food, health care, extravaganza’s and last, but not least, its massive stock of flags.

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