Not just another libertarian weblog ....okay, maybe it is just another libertarian weblog.
Sunday, December 23, 2001
Toe-rrorism--Another potential terrorist attack was foiled today by quick-thinking passengers and airline crewmembers. Quick--who saved people's lives? Government security agents confiscating people's nailfiles? No--the man had bombs in his shoes--witnesses claimed to have seen wires and fuses sticking out of them--yet he managed to board an airplane and come within a few seconds of killing hundreds of innocent people. It was the quick-thinking people on the plane, acting as a citizens' militia, who managed to stop him.

I'm going flying in a few days--across the country. I wonder if they'll be confiscating people's shoes. (Not mine....anyone who's seen the rags I wear for shoes knows no bomb could ever be held in there!)
My hero Tom Daschle--Who knew? Tom Daschle has defeated the Bush "stimulus" package, an exercise in big-government spending Keynesianism which is just as popular with Democrats as with Republicans. Remember the 1993 Clinton "stimulus package"? Bob Dole managed to defeat that by a single vote, leading Senator Daschle (on Larry King Live)to complain about "a partisan feud, a debate about whether we're going to allow this president to lead."

So Daschle has a double standard on Republican leadership versus Democrat leadership--no big deal. The bigger problem is the bad economic theory behind all this "recovery" claptrap. "Bail out the airlines!"--which means "give taxpayer money to airlines"--which means "force Americans to buy plane tickets which they don't want." If that's the way to fix the economy, why not force us to buy all sorts of other things we don't want? If it's patriotic to spend money to keep the income of particular industries at a certain standard--why then, it's patriotic to litter, in order to make sure janitors still have jobs, right? Once again, the old economic fallacy arises--that a "healthy economy" consists of making sure that people have jobs and money keeps circulating--instead of measuring an economy (as it should be measured) by whether we get stuff we want for a price we're willing to pay.

The other thing to learn from this is that once again the Constitution is working. By dividing the power of the Congress, and separating that from the Presidency also, the Constitution has managed to protect us from at least two "stimulus packages" which would have cost us billions and done nothing substantive to "help" anyone except the politically powerful lobbyists who manage to be on the receiving end of government largesse. As Madison put it, we must make ambition counteract ambition. By balancing Daschle's powerlust against Bush's, the Constitution has protected the people, just as it did in '93.


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