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Is the Era of Big Government Back?--Stuntz

Everyone seems to think so, thanks to the financial crisis.  I wonder.  I have a short article about to come out in The Weekly Standard suggesting otherwise.  The link is here.

 

Early in his first Administration, Bill Clinton turned to his economic advisers and said: "we're all Eisenhower Republicans here"--because the need to bring down the deficit was driving his budget and tax policies in directions he didn't like.  Seems to me, the forces driving a future President Obama or McCain in the same direction will be a good deal stronger in 2009.

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Comments ( 4 )

I enjoyed the article, but have a hard time believing that anything the government does is temporary. Sure, money is a huge driving force, but so is politics and power. We have just witnessed an unprecedented purchase of the private markets with public money. What's more, the dominoes seem set-up for government intervention en masse.

I think what's different this time around than, say the 1930s, is a generational effect: we are still in the shadow of the 1960 hippies mindset. That generation knows entitlement like no other. I think that matters a lot - it's one which believes spending is the only way out a hole.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but I think whoever wins in November will be under enormous pressure to do something and something these days always seems to involve spending rather than austerity.

Per my earlier comment, This and this seem on point to the discussion here.

You know, writing for a conservative rag like The Weekly Standard is going to play havoc with your status in the legal academy.

Well, I'm not much concerned with my status these days.

I used to write occasionally for the New Republic, to which I've long subscribed and enjoyed reading. I liked writing for that magazine -- as Fred Barnes once did -- because it was politically eclectic: there were columns and articles from a wide range of points on the ideological spectrum. The magazine leaned left, but it had plenty of material that center-right folks could enjoy.

Not so much anymore. It makes me sad to say so, but there is no longer room in the opinion magazine market for a centrist magazine that publishes all sorts of views. Atlantic briefly looked like it would be that magazine, but it isn't. So folks from my part of the political spectrum -- the middle -- have no good outlet save for blog posts. Which is one reason I like writing blog posts.