It’s not every day that the front page of The New York Times has two articles that highlight the importance of limited government, but today’s edition does exactly that. The first article describes how the Citizens United Supreme Court decision to allow corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts on political causes has actually benefited free-speech and the political process.
Under the old political rules, Mitt Romney arrived in South Carolina this week the prohibitive Republican front-runner: flush with cash, awash in endorsements from a party establishment starting to coalesce behind him and buoyed by victories in Iowa and New Hampshire.
But as Mr. Romney is quickly learning, those rules no longer apply. Mr. Romney’s carefully tended network of Republican donors has been rendered functionally less important by “super PACs,” through which a handful of wealthy individuals are financing a multimillion-dollar advertising barrage to assail his record and prop up his opponents….
As a result, Mr. Romney’s remaining opponents have little incentive to drop out, knowing that their support from super PACs and Internet contributions from grass-roots supporters can keep them in the race long after they would have remained viable in earlier eras…
In other words, Republicans are actually getting more time to make a decision, more information about the candidates, and more debate about the issues as a result of the Citizens United decision. As John Samples shows in his book The Fallacy of Campaign Finance Reform, the motto “more money = more speech” does, in reality, hold true.
The second NYT article documented the ludicrous goings on at the Federal Reserve prior the housing market collapse in 2007 and 2008. If ever there was an argument against central planning, the wisdom of bureaucrats, or a case for greater transparency, this is it:
As the housing bubble entered its waning hours in 2006, top Federal Reserve officials marveled at the desperate antics of home builders seeking to lure buyers. The officials laughed about the cars that builders were offering as signing bonuses, and about efforts to make empty homes look occupied. They joked about one builder who said that inventory was “rising through the roof.”
But the officials, meeting every six weeks to discuss the health of the nation’s economy, gave little credence to the possibility that the faltering housing market would weigh on the broader economy, according to transcripts that the Fed released Thursday. Instead they continued to tell one another throughout 2006 that the greatest danger was inflation — the possibility that the economy would grow too fast. “We think the fundamentals of the expansion going forward still look good,” Timothy Geithner, then president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, told his colleagues when they gathered in Washington in December 2006….
This pathetic display was finally released this week after the Fed suppressed the records for the past five years. These same people who joked about the absurd economy they helped create, who failed to see that it couldn’t last, used the collapse to get even more power than ever before. As Obama’s former-Chief of Staff has said, Let no serious crisis go to waste.