Not soon enough of course, but dare we hope the “MagShoe” is coming?


ProPublica – a non-profit force for “journalism in the public interest” run by former long-time and widely admired Wall Street Journal editor Paul Steiger – keeps this running tally of the bail-out money we taxpayers have pushed put the door ($500.7 billion) and the portion that has come back ($194.7 billion thus far).


Nathan Daschle certainly has a horse in this race. Dozens of them, in fact. He heads the Democratic Governor’s Association. But, as he argues on, fact are facts:

. . . Republican governors, as a whole, vastly underperform their Democratic counterparts on virtually every economic or fiscal score. In addition to high unemployment numbers, states with Republican governors are far less likely to be on the Forbes list of “Best States for Business” (only one of the Top 5 has a Republican governor), score a AAA rating from the major credit rating agencies (only two of the seven have GOP governors) or make a real investment in clean technology (only two of the Top 10 clean-tech states have Republican governors).

Perhaps most telling, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, is that throughout the past decade, the size of state governments actually grew more under Republican governors than under Democratic ones.

This is true for both traditional ways of measuring the size of government: spending growth and the number of state employees.

These are the facts. And they are undisputed. . . .

☞ I’m sure I can count on some of you to dispute them – and will post your comments when you do.

But the larger point here, while not original to me, is that this is more than coincidence. Republicans generally don’t believe in government; Democrats do. Bush’s first Energy Secretary had, as a Senator, actually called for abolishing the Energy Department; Obama’s is a Nobel-prize winning physicist consumed – as are his deputies – with the importance and potential of rejuvenating the U.S. energy industry and helping to achieve energy independence. See the difference?

Obviously, not everything R’s do is bad or lackluster; not everything D’s do is good or exemplary. Clearly. Definitely. I get that.

But if your basic philosophy is that government can’t do things well – well, as the saying goes, “argue for your limitations and they are yours.” And I think it was Eleanor Roosevelt who said, “If you think you can’t do something, you’re right.”


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