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Fighting Obama's Nanny State

In President Obama’s op-ed on the topic of the economy, here are some words you won’t find: profits, investment, incentives, taxes, risk, enterprise or markets. Or freedom, or liberty. So, though he claims to want to build a “foundation for growth,” Obama ignores the real drivers of economic growth. Instead, his vision is that of a bloated and meddling nanny state that would stifle economic opportunity and growth.

Obama’s economic program -- the stimulus package, health care, cap-and-trade -- offers a huge opportunity to Republicans: Oppose root-and-branch this attempt to impose on us more spending, more debt and higher taxes, accompanied by an ever heavier hand of government. Oppose these schemes that are informed by the unwarranted arrogance of the central planners and the barely hidden condescension of the best and the brightest.

Republicans can propose instead incentives for economic growth and job-creation consistent with free markets and limited government, accompanied by reasonable regulations that will avoid a repeat of the financial meltdown. With Obama going down the road to the nanny state, Republicans have a chance to articulate by contrast a sensible and compelling pro-growth agenda consistent with the history of American democratic capitalism and the principles of a free society.

By William Kristol  | July 12, 2009; 3:19 PM ET
Categories:  Kristol  | Tags:  William Kristol  
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Mr. Kristol seems to have forgotten that it was under eight years of Republican rule that we got into the economic mess we are in. I conclude that the Republican's ideas are therefore bankrupt and it is time to give the Democrats a chance to fix our economy. I'd rather have a functioning economy even if it means more government intrusion, than a non-functioning economy with unfettered private management but no money except for the very rich.

Posted by: jatale | July 12, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey there, Billy! Listen a sec, I read this line and spit out my coffee in laughter: "Oppose these schemes that are informed by the unwarranted arrogance of the central planners and the barely hidden condescension of the best and the brightest."

Jeeze I sure wish we had you calling for this sort of response to Donnie Rumsfeld and the Iraq War because it fits exactly! Oh wait! You were one of those barely hiding your condescension, I forgot!

You wold do well to try to live on a minimum-wage salary for a month or try a couple weeks' duty in Afghanistan or try to get by without health care or a dental plan before you sit down and type your next word.

Walk in others' shoes before you go spouting off your putrid drivel and try to pass it off as The Way the World Ought to Work.

I knew you were not very bright to begin with but you clearly have lot all touch with reality.

Posted by: Saintbridge | July 12, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

William you help word smith this country into what it has become.So why not put some positive statement on the paper sometime profit can't be made all the time without someone suffening in the process.Greed has ruined this country.Advocating for the stealing of other country resources is bad enough.

Posted by: hearnandrewd | July 12, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

So Mr. Kristol, I assume you're going to be recommending the usual litany of tax cuts and lax regulations that got us into the recession in the first place?

You seem to have missed the point of President Obama's editorial completely: that an emphasis on education, coupled with shifting the monetary incentive towards long-term thinking, are what can bring this country's economy back from your buddies' ruinous schemes and place it on a footing to ensure future stability and growth.

I remember when Republicans were in favor of cap-and-trade because it was a way to use the free market to effect environmental change. But maybe that was only when it was a far-off and unlikely solution. Now that it's a reality you're all crying nanny state. Bah.

Sad to see that once again the Republicans live up to their unofficial motto: "If we can't be part of the problem, we can at least stand in the way of a solution."

Posted by: NotoriousBIVALVE | July 12, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

"...and the barely hidden condescension of the best and the brightest."

Well. "Condescension of the best and brightest." Mr. Kristol, it seems to me that the Republican party has made disparaging the best and brightest, aka "elites", a rallying cry for "Real America". I guess they only qualify as the best and brightest if they punch the conservative ticket.

Second to that jaw dropper (for me anyways) is that the Republicans were no better at managing runaway government growth during the previous eight years - why would we moderates listen to them now?

I believe the Republican party can and should play an active role as the loyal opposition, but I'm certainly not willing to vote them back into power anytime soon, no matter how bad the Democrats screw it up.

Posted by: mikem1 | July 12, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

jatale got it right.

Yeah, I know the Democrats bear some responsibility for Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac stuff that led to risky mortgages being taken out by people who couldn't afford them. But that was a relatively small part of the mess, compared to the deregulation that Republicans champion at every turn and which made it possible for the whole financial system to spin out of control. With some regulation and oversight, the banks and mortgage brokers wouldn't have dreamed of issuing those loans in the first place. And the loans wouldn't have been sliced and diced and repackaged and resold, and a bunch of other wild speculative financial games wouldn't have been developed and encouraged by free marketers who only saw huge dollars landing in their own pockets, and you wouldn't have had these huge corporations like AIG become too big to fail... etc., etc., etc.

So far I haven't heard one single cogent proposal come out of the Republican Party, save the same old platitudes about free markets that basically translate into the rich get richer and to h*ll with everybody else.

Posted by: sally1860 | July 12, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Billy-boy, if a fool and his money are soon parted, what does that say about our captains of free enterprise? I'd say some some adult supervision was long overdue. It's too bad Wall St. will actually have to earn it's money next time around instead of indulging in endless variations of a Ponzi scheme.

If real wealth was created in the past eight years, where is it?

Posted by: st50taw | July 12, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Sadly Mr. Kristol you are a prime example of a spoiled middle-aged man who was born into privilege and doesn't want anyone less blessed to get the hand-up fate gave you. You and men like you have nearly destroyed this country. Please have the dignity and self-awareness to take yourself and your self-serving and often remarkably ill-informed opinions off the public stage.

Posted by: mhitchons | July 12, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Better a nanny state than a bully state. The GOP never met a CEO it wouldn't give a bonus too, usually with taxpayer money. Pay your taxes Bill, and stop whining!

Posted by: jpsbr2002 | July 12, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Anybody know when Mr. Kristol last wrote anything that moved the public discourse on ANY issue forward? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Seriously, why does ANYBODY pay this guy to write? Maybe WaPo ought to dump this moron next time budget cuts come up at the paper.

Posted by: Saintbridge | July 12, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Mr.Kristol, You obviously hit a nerve with your comments about the Stimulus package, Health Care Bill, Cap-and-trade.
The personal knife-throwing in the responses is obscene. If Repubs are give-to-the-rich, then Demos are give-to-any-illegal-alien/or poor/or foreigner. Just make sure its not to an American. Diversity is their mantra. Next week will be important as a second Stimulus is discussed, and AIG wants more bonuses. There will be more to argue about then.

Posted by: drzimmern1 | July 12, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Saintbridge: No, the WaPo would rather axe Froomkin, who did something useful.

Posted by: NotoriousBIVALVE | July 12, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

There he goes again with his 'socialist' mantra -- now, after six months of Obama's work to restore sanity to a badly damaged economy, we have now become -- in just six months -- close to being a 'Nanny State'.

Billybob and Lulubell will be all up and frothing at the mouth at this new, dread revelation "Nanny State" -- hurrying to hide all them guns a-fore the evil Socialist/Muslim/African/Be-plumed Obama takes over the world.

Then Kristol writes this classic:

"Oppose these schemes that are informed by the unwarranted arrogance of the central planners and the barely hidden condescension of the best and the brightest."

Isn't that what we were all shocked and then radically "opposed" to during eight years of the Bush administration? A secretive, dismissive, elitist Bush and Cheney con-job which tens of millions of desperate, disgusted US citizens organized and voted against -- the epitome of arrogance and elitism?

What are we supposed to call eight years of secret meetings, illegal wiretaps and *other* secret plans we are only just learning about, other than "...unwarranted arrogance of the central planners and barely hidden condescension..." ?

Kristol also seems, conveniently, to forget that because of his party's child-like ignorance of all matters economic, that "heavier hand of government" he likes to scare simple morons with is necessary to keep his rich buddies from further raping the country in the name of 'free enterprise'.

By the way -- "Free" for who -- the wealthy?

Given that nothing Kristol has EVER written has EVER been correct -- he has proven over and over that he is simply not fit to speak on any matters much beyond that of the parochial, inept, ideologue misanthropes he poorly serves.

Mr. Kristol, may your maniacal, misinformed, malignant, missives be continually relegated to ever more obscure columns of '500 words or less' until your name and the names of the fringe-right trash-mongers you dance with are all but a sad footnote in the annals of corrupt, self-serving, failures.


Posted by: Frank57 | July 12, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Free market? After being a holder of General Motors bonds I will see the free market as a holder of General Motors stock. That was my life savings that went out the window and returned as something of little value. Somehow it did not seem very free. True the government was behind all this with its free everything.

A little less free and I would still have some saving. But I guess you can't take it with you when you dead as there are no transfer from earth to heaven. Still I don't have to worry about money anymore since I don't have any except social security. I guess they will be reforming that soon when the government declares bankruptcy. California is gives out I.O.U.s next will be United States. They say California is a leading indicator.

Posted by: artg | July 12, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

jatale wrote: was under eight years of Republican rule that we got into the economic mess we are in.
Actually, the economy has been progressively nose-diving ever since the Democrats starting managing it back in 2006. President Obama was one of the people who voted against regulating the housing market and tougher regulations on creditors back in 2005.

Posted by: NoWeCant | July 12, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

It sounds like Kristol is advacating more of the same type of policies that led to the financial meltdown in the first place. Does Kristol get paid for this type of simple minded analysis?

Posted by: bolisalindalae | July 12, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I do not read Bill Kristol for the same reason that I never listen to Rush Limbaugh. Neither has anything to say. What I would like to know is why THE POST is still publishing garbage from the likes of Bill Kristol when they got rid of Dan Fromkin. Why is Dan out and Bill in? Why are there so many discredited conservatives - Will, Kristol, Krauthammer - still on the editorial pages of THE POST and so few Liberals? I used to respect and READ the POST. Now, I think I will do neither.


Posted by: nyrunner101 | July 12, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

The neocon-in chief , Kristol, writes"....reasonable regulations that will avoid a repeat of the financial meltdown"

Exactly what are these "reasonable regulations" are? Where were you in the past 15 years when your buddies in Wall Street raped the American people? Did you ever object?

People like you, Mr.Kristol, have no conscience, no soul, no humanity. Just a machine that wants more money

Posted by: peaceful2008 | July 12, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

As usual, the problem with your "analysis" is that it's viewed through the prism of what works best for the masters of the universe. As we've seen, even your prescription for "profits, investment, incentives, taxes, risk, enterprise or markets. Or freedom, or liberty" doesn't work out all that well when the only focus of concern is for those who are already doing just fine, thank you. You aren't honest enough to face up to this even if it HAS occured to you, but I still gotta ask: what do you THINK happens in a poker game when one guy has all the chips? Game over, unless he loans them to the other players, and once they've borrowed all they can and lost those as well, it's still game over. The sad fact for you and those of your limited intellectual honesty is that you can't have a capitalist, consumer-based free-market economy in which 5 guys out of a hundred have all the money. Why don't you just try honesty for once, and instead of layering on all the BS, just stand up and say what you really believe: that the highest calling of democratic government is to remove any and all restraint for the haves to own EVERYTHING, and that the "freedom and liberty" you refer to is the "freedom" for the rest of us to serve them as serfs and the "liberty" for them to work us ever harder and suck off all the resultant gains as profits.

It's odd to me that anyone would believe that the greatest goal of a democratic republic - which is supposed to represent all of us and serve the interests of all - is to make it easier for a small minority of us to own everything. Really? We can only have "freedom" and "liberty" if all of us cast votes in favor of allowing 5% of us to own the rest of us via economic servitude?

You, sir, have no concept of "democracy"; you are a Royalist and had you been on the scene in 1776 would most assuredly have been a Tory, as serving the wealthy and powerful is your calling. Democracy? That's got nuthin' to do with the BS you peddle here and elsewhere. You're firmly on the side of establishing a non-titled aristocracy of money. No doubt because you're well compensated to act as the court jester.

Posted by: JennOfArk | July 12, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

You call it a nanny state, I call it government that works for ME.

I'll take it any day over George W. Bush's spy-on-its-citizen state.

Posted by: arancia12 | July 12, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

P.S. JennofArk, you are my new hero. Brava!

Posted by: arancia12 | July 12, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't the Washington Post just hire some college Republican to crank out this boilerplate crap? They couldn't be any worse than Kristol and they'd do it for less money.

Posted by: lowellfield | July 12, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Yonkers, New York
12 July 2009

Like a Bengal tiger or a zebra, conservative pundit William Kristol cannot change his ultra-conservative Republican stripes: He continues to go by the Republican playbook of "little or no government," "little or no regulation," "laissez faire," "free enterprise," "trickle-down economics," and "the Invisible Hand" as the final arbiter of booms and bust.

He obviously needs to be reminded--sharply this time--that this Republican playbook is at the root of the housing meltdown, the financial meltdown, and the economic crisis now bedevilling the United States which is threatening to morph into "The Great Depression of 2008."

To drive home the point further, he should be reminded that Republican presidential candidate John McCain pushed this Republican playbook in the last elections--and Democrat Barack Obama bested him by both big margins in the electoral as well as the popular votes.

President Obama is now simply delivering on what he promised the American people in the last elections.

Mariano Patalinjug

Posted by: MPatalinjug | July 12, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

i would hate to live a life like kristol and others like him .hopefully hes single.icannot imagine a life ofso much negativism zero optimism, everything and everyone not like me are bad for you.what a sad life he must have.and hes not alone thankfully thay are really the minority. they really deserve pity.but i will probably just keep laughing at them.

Posted by: donaldtucker | July 12, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

NOT reading much in the WPost any more.
Especially when they are dominated by wreckless clueless writers like Kristol.

I do not know how he ever earned his money.
But you can tell he has sucked up alot in the past..

I wish we could give the Kritsol Noecons their own island so they can have limited government, huge military and no taxes..

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | July 12, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

The race to the bottom continues for the Washington Post.

What sense does it make for the Post to give space and credibility to a competitor's pet poodle?

Or doesn't the Post care that the media lowlife Rupert Murdoch owns Kristol's Weekly Standard?

Or that Murdoch also lines Kristol's pockets through Fox News?

Perhaps the Post also does not care that Kristol was fired from the New York Times for repeated errors and repeated low-IQ idiocies.

Perhaps the Post also does not care that Kristol was the co-founder of PNAC, the crazed cabal of Zionists and neo-cons that planned and promoted the Iraq war back in the mid- to late-90s and populated the Bush White House with eight years of incompetence and error.

It is certain that Weymouth and Brauchli don't care.

But you'd think they'd have some pity on the diminishing number of Post readers.

Posted by: WhatHeSaid | July 12, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans can propose instead incentives for economic growth and job-creation consistent with free markets and limited government, accompanied by reasonable regulations that will avoid a repeat of the financial meltdown." ~ Kristol



Then, why haven't they?

Republican proposals are as mythical as the unicorn.

All we've heard to date is criticism and "No!"

Is it that it, Smilin' Billy? Is that all you and your half-witted brethren have to offer?

Posted by: WhatHeSaid | July 12, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and...for those of you upthread who are wondering how Kristol continues to fail upward even though he's never been right about anything, you'll appreciate this (from Rocky Mtn. News):

“I remember back in the late 1990s, when Ira Katznelson, an eminent political scientist at Columbia, came to deliver a guest lecture. Prof. Katznelson described a lunch he had with Irving Kristol during the first Bush administration.

“The talk turned to William Kristol, then Dan Quayle’s chief of staff, and how he got his start in politics. Irving recalled how he talked to his friend Harvey Mansfield at Harvard, who secured William a place there as both an undergrad and graduate student; how he talked to Pat Moynihan, then Nixon’s domestic policy adviser, and got William an internship at the White House; how he talked to friends at the RNC [Republican National Committee] and secured a job for William after he got his Harvard Ph.D.; and how he arranged with still more friends for William to teach at Penn and the Kennedy School of Government.

“With that, Prof. Katznelson recalled, he then asked Irving what he thought of affirmative action. ‘I oppose it,’ Irving replied. ‘It subverts meritocracy.’ ”

Turns out Bill's dad was right. The WaPo chose to keep their affirmative action hire while letting go of a writer of true merit - Dan Froomkin. Yes, affirmative action for neo-cons definitely subverts meritocracy.

Posted by: JennOfArk | July 12, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Under Mr. Kristol's vision, increased "freedom" would translate to further deregulation. And that would put us in the same state of economic crisis we're in today, except worse.

Posted by: johnc_80 | July 12, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

JennofArk wins the prizes for the best posts of the day -- hands down and going away.

(Loved the Prof. Katznelson story.)

Posted by: WhatHeSaid | July 12, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

I do not read Bill Kristol for the same reason that I never listen to Rush Limbaugh. Neither has anything to say. What I would like to know is why THE POST is still publishing garbage from the likes of Bill Kristol when they got rid of Dan Fromkin...

Posted by: nyrunner101 | July 12, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse
ANother brilliant repartee from a liberal. Bill Kristol et al have "nothing to say," but the liberal never reads what they say. So, you disagree with what you've never read.

The perfect definition of a liberal idiot (whoops, I've repeated myself there).

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | July 12, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

"and secured a job for William after he got his Harvard Ph.D.;"

Has Harvard considered revoking the degree? I have known several people about whom I wondered how they got the degree but they were all way better than Billy.

Posted by: pessimist46 | July 12, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Eat cake, Kristol.

Posted by: SarahBB | July 12, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Although Mr Kristol and the GOP have not announced strategies for change their response to the initiatives taken or proposed by the Obama Administration is one of condemnation. Their arsenal is pettiness and empty slogans. They offer nothing more than obfuscation.

America and the world are at a crisis point and for most of us its arrival was sudden and unexpected. The situation in which we find ourselves may be long lasting with horrible consequences including despair and social disruption.

The strategies taken by the President may not result in a permanent universal cure but their importance is that they have stopped terrible consequences falling upon most of us.

It is important for the government to show us that it can lead us out of this morass and for us to believe that there will be a managed end to this wide-ranging slump because that gives us hope and a desire to keep on going.

The government's actions may not have long lasting effects but at least they have convinced us that they will, one way or another, lead us out of our predicament.

The GFC is attributable to a system that is faulty. Failure was inevitable. We can ignore the lesson and prop ourselves up with our past beliefs notwithstanding that they are fallacious or we can implement a new system.

One of the roles of government is to provide a framework within which business operates. We can build a new framework or we can rebuild the old one and wait for the next calamity.

Today, many businesses are super large and their policies can cause enormous consequences. When many of them fail simultaneously they drive the economy into the wall.

I do not want this power to go unchallenged. It has to be subject to checks and balances and prudential controls. This is analagous to requiring business to wear seatbelts.

This does not mean the end of business but it does mean that we will try to stop business inadvertently wreaking havoc on local, state, national and international economies. Business does not have to be fettered or unnecessarily weighed down by government regulations. It means that we are attempting to stop another calamity.

Just imagine the havoc reached by Freddie Mac and Fannie May. If those corporations are broken down into a dozen smaller corporations and they are subject to effective scrutiny and worthy controls then the risk of all of them failing simultaneously is markedly reduced. Each one of those corporations would be mammoth. Business would not be hindered but it would be made safer and the recklessness that has characterised much of the business world would be reduced.

If Mr Kristol can offer well-formulated policies then let him do so. The debate requires a contribution rather than his biting at the heels which amounts to a refusal to propose future solutions.

He has told us that Obama has got 'it' wrong but he has not shown us that he can get 'it' right.

Posted by: robertjames1 | July 12, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Billy for president!
He and Palin would make a good circus act to ensure that we don't EVER forget the legacy of Shrub.

Posted by: streff | July 12, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

"Billy for president!
He and Palin would make a good circus act to ensure that we don't EVER forget the legacy of Shrub."

That would be enough to get me to move to Texas just before they secede.

Posted by: pessimist46 | July 12, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

What silly column. Obama isn't talking about a nanny state. He's talking about an economy that works for everyone, not just Wall Street and the rich.

Kristol's friends wrecked the economy, made a mockery of the law, and trampled the Constitution. They also lost the election.

Go away, old fool.

Posted by: Aformerjournalist | July 12, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

So the Post really has become a welfare state for failing right wing fool columnists.
For goodness sake what is the American Heritage Institute for?

Posted by: glynnjp1 | July 12, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Aformerjournalist - The great irony of it is, the economy that Billy here supports - one that works for ONLY Wall Street and the rich - in the end doesn't work for them, either. The dirty little secret that tools like Kristol and others in the media - and even Democratic politicians - dare not whisper when alone in the deepest, darkest forest, is that it is over-concentration of wealth that inexorably leads to deflationary spirals. Even those of us without Ivy-League educations can clearly deduce why: when the top 5% have 95% of the money, the other 95% of us have to scrape by on the remaining 5%...and anyone who wants or needs a customer base can only do business with us by reducing prices to a level we can afford. So either economic activity slows to a standstill, or we start experiencing deflation in prices...either of which will vastly reduce the real value of the wealth the greedheads have accumulated. The outcome is kinda like the end of every episode of Scooby-Doo you ever watched: "And we would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for that darn reality!!"

Me, I just thankful that I'm not such a shrivelled husk of humanity that my highest goal in life would be to accumulate 2, 5, 10, or 100 times more money than I could ever possibly spend. In fact, I'm thankful that I can't even begin to understand why anyone would want such a thing - given that my lack of understanding re-affirms that I'm not a poor excuse for a human being. Like some others we could name.

Posted by: JennOfArk | July 12, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Bill you are an absolute idiot!!!!!!!!!!!We are in this situation because the people who were given the free rein you suggest they should have abused that privelege. So what must happen is for the Nanny state to step in and make sure the immature idiots who drove this economy into the ground are not allowed to do so in the future. People like you who think this is a big game need the spanking you never had!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: haa1313 | July 12, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Billy Boy,

Now I understand why you're allowed space on WAPO.

A publisher with no ethics seeks the like minded.

Posted by: mdpilot | July 12, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Do I detect the wiff of panic?
Rant at Bill all you want, it won't help Obama. Check out the polls, your guy and and his grand ideas are in trouble.
Americans are asking,'How's that hope and change working out for me?'
Unless you're dirt poor or maybe a newly hired Czar the answer is not well, not well at all.

Posted by: westcotran | July 12, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

...To quote Mr. Obama, "you have a short memory"! Been there, done that.
The sad thing is, I dont think what Kristol says, he really belives, he cant say these things with a straight face. The man is inttelectually dishonist.

Posted by: howard5 | July 12, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Americans are asking,'How's that hope and change working out for me?'

Well, perhaps the dull ones are. The rest of us realize that you can't undo 8 years of sustained economic assault on the citizenry in a mere 6 months.

Given that it's a mathematical fact that half of all people are of below-average intelligence, I'm actually proud of my fellow citizens, since over half of them seem to understand that you can't turn an economy the size of ours around from this type of blow in just 6 months. That means that even some of the dull ones get it.

Too bad you're not one of them.

Posted by: JennOfArk | July 12, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Mr.Obama didn't mention the tooth fairy either.

Posted by: hyblean | July 12, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

"and the barely hidden condescension of the best and the brightest."

Ironic how he channels the memories of the original "best and the brightest," Nixon's minions who were tasked with justifying and winning the Vietnam conflict.

Posted by: bucinka8 | July 12, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Bill must have a gall bladder the size of a pony keg to write this stuff.

He gets in every buz word from tyhe whole of Reaganite history, Nanny state and all.

Translated, though, he is saying that Georgie did so well over his eight years we ought to try it some more.

"Republicans can propose instead incentives for economic growth and job-creation consistent with free markets and limited government, accompanied by reasonable regulations that will avoid a repeat of the financial meltdown."

Uh! I hate to tell you, Mr Kristol, but that is what brought about the melt down in the first place.

"With Obama going down the road to the nanny state, Republicans have a chance to articulate by contrast a sensible and compelling pro-growth agenda consistent with the history of American democratic capitalism and the principles of a free society."

Translation: If we had our way about it, all you middle class schmucks are definitely on your own, and don't slam the door to the house our bankers just repossessed from you on your way out!

Except for his politics, has this prognosticator EVER been right?

Posted by: ceflynline | July 12, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Kristol. Who do you think you're fooling. Republicans CAN'T do diddly.

Besides, who do you think has driven us into this bloody mess hole.

Also, have you forgotten that Republicans don't even have an intelligent and respected leader.

You would do yourself some good and not spin this type of drivel.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | July 12, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh yes, please, let's hear from some neocon/Fox "news" hack who helped lie us into an unncessary war, who hasn't been right about anything for years, and who has the integrity of a snake, who belongs in prison.

Fred Hiatt sure loves him some failed wingnuts. If you helped drive America into the ditch that it's in, he will give you a column. Kristol should be down at the nearest VA hospital begging forgiveness from Iraq war veterans wounded in his phony little neocon war.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | July 12, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Republicans, please follow Kristol's advice, just as you followed his advice on foreign policy and Iraq. I'm sure his current advice will be just as good for you now as it has in the past.

Posted by: treetopflyer | July 12, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Kristol's analysis is correct.

Further, it is quite clear that Obama's plans will only make the current economic disaster even worse. There are only scant details so far on plans such as his health care plan, however, what is clear is that he will move the debt from about $11 trillion to about $20 trillion. Pretty pricey for some half-baked ideas that will be implemented at snails pace and probably pretty poorly. Kind of the way that these goof balls have utilized the "stimulus money".

And how about that Barney Franks stating how he is "willing to roll the dice again" to get affordable mortgages for lower income citizens. What a sell-out. Social engineering that will ensure massive debt for generations to come. Way to go, Dems.

Posted by: joe_average | July 12, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Kristol's posturing about liberty now doesn't pass the laugh test. He has long held, with David Brooks, that "live and let live is not a governing philosophy." His magazine has worked to promote "big government conservatism" as the way to win. The Post would do far more for its readers by including a truly libertarian perspective.

Posted by: markf12 | July 12, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

"In President Obama’s op-ed on the topic of the economy, here are some words you won’t find: profits, investment, incentives, taxes, risk, enterprise or markets" Billy of course you will not find those words, they are the working lexicon of the capitalists, profit - extract at any costs from the public, risk - pass all risks over to the public at any costs, enterprise - the code word for developing the best strategies for extracting the highest possible profit and minimizing the risks and taxes - always pass those along to the customers. You see capitalism is not about being a bleeding socialist as much as it is about being bleeding the public of its money.

Posted by: katie4dixon | July 12, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Where is this "Nanny State" of which Krazy Kristol writes?

In the six months that Obama has been President he has been engaged in trying to save the ship of state from foundering on the rocks that Bush and Cheney and assorted lunatics like Krazy Kristol have stranded us.

No "Nanny State" has arrived. Except in Krazy Kristol's imagination.

Small wonder that the New York Times gave Krazy Kristol his walking papers.

Posted by: WhatHeSaid | July 12, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

We have lived through eight years of the Skinflint State - we don't need any more conservative solutions, thank you.

Posted by: maggots | July 12, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Obama and the powers backing his throne are rapidly removing personal liberties while plunging the nation into unrecoverable debt. He keeps promising more and more "goodies" from healthcare to education while failing to explain how they will be financed. Kristol has it right, but sadly, too many have chosen to be blind and deaf to the facts.

Posted by: judithod | July 12, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

"Although Mr Kristol and the GOP have not announced strategies for change their response to the initiatives taken or proposed by the Obama Administration is one of condemnation. Their arsenal is pettiness and empty slogans. They offer nothing more than obfuscation."
Quit being lazy and go to the House and Senate Republican websites to read their proposals. The liberal media can't seem to read or print the proposals, possibly because they make too much sense.

Posted by: judithod | July 12, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Sheesh - Georgie Will and Billie Kristol back-to-back! I never imagined that I would say this, but I miss Bill Buckley! At least he could be wrong with a certain elegance.

Posted by: fr3dmars | July 12, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Yep the nanny state! Let's get rid of public schools and universities, our public hospitals and utilities, and let's not forget police protection. After all, we have the NRA and their campaign to see arms bazaars on every corner, bazaars that should strike fear into every criminal thug around, bazaar alright?

Posted by: Keith3 | July 12, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Totally agree, the GOP should oppose increases in taxes and spending and regulation. It would be even more useful if the GOP opposed those things whenever they were in power, instead of raising feeble protests only when out of office. The Democrats have the same problem; they lambasted Bush ( rightly so ) for doubling the national debt, then doubled it again with great alacrity. What's up with that? Let's walk the talk, not talk the walk!

Posted by: terrymac | July 12, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

So we have Billy Kristol,

very much part of the greedy cabal of
"New Yorkers" on Wall Street,

who've brought this country to economic ruin...mouthing off about the essence of
American capitalism. The 300M a year boys of the hedge funds and investment banks.

The only question is if any country can survive with the likes of the
Billy Kristols perverting everything with their greed and need to war. Such a deal.

Posted by: whistling | July 12, 2009 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Daily I read editorials, comments and letters-to-the-editor from all over the nation. Support for cap and trade is evaporating. Whereas two weeks ago it was maybe 2-to-1 against cap and trade, opinion now seems to be 6-to-1 against. The Senate will be wise to heed the overwhelming lack of public support and stop this disastrous legislation from passing into law.

If instead of cap and trade the United States had a national mandate to replace coal generation plants with natural gas and nuclear energy, plus if we replaced our commuter cars with battery-powered electric cars, we would drastically reduce our dependence on foreign oil and reduce CO2 emissions faster and beyond the proposed cap and trade targets.

-- Robert Moen,

Posted by: Rmoen | July 13, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

This talk of "conservative" things like liberty and freedom is somewhat hypocritical of Mr. Kristol, considering his support of the Bush Administration.

The PATRIOT Act and the creation of Homeland Security have been perhaps the greatest affront to notions of liberty and freedom in this country for decades.

The CIA lying about and obfuscating its increasingly obvious illegal activities? Bush's watch. Torture, warrantless wiretapping, "National Security Letters" and the banks filing "Suspicious Activity Reports" are all on Bush's watch. Kristol loved loved and defended it.

Economically, the TARP is a Bush creation. So are all the seedy, illegal back-room deals with Merrill, BoA, AIG, etc. All these occurred and were manifested by the Bush regime. Profit? Investment? Kristol failed to notice Bush and his cronies favored a more, how would you say it, "Banana-esque" form of these things.

When Bush - over Congress's explicit rejection of same - raided the TARP fund to prop up the automakers, he not only made inevitable bankruptcies that much more expensive, he also made the first step in history of a President spending Federal monies as he saw fit over the express intent of Congress. Last time I heard, Congress had the ultimate power-of-the-purse. Not anymore apparently. Kristol, outside of treating it as a policy question, failed to note the complete unconstitutional and illegal nature of this. I am sure he has used such hyperbole for Obama's actions with the automakers, which given he's a union-bought Democrat, not only makes sense but hasn't been completely illegal either.

Don't even mention not just invading Iraq, but the complete incompetence of his cronies in prosecuting that mess until the elections of 2006 forced him to clean house. God knows what Iraq would be right now if Rummy was still in charge.

What cost the Republicans the 2008 election - and with it virtually all political power at the Federal level - was not a massive rejection of core Republican values. It was the result of Republican leadership - supported by the likes of Kristol - rejecting core Republican values.

At least the Democrats are somewhat honest about their desire to control everyone's social and economic existence with an encroaching police-state while destroying this nation with excessive debt and taxation to satisfy their favored constituencies. The Republicans don't just lie to the people about doing the same thing, but as it appears from Mr. Kristol's chicken-hawk "outrage" they lie to themselves while looking in the mirror as well. What a bunch of fools.

Posted by: HAL-9000 | July 13, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

- James K. Galbraith

Posted by: kentucker | July 13, 2009 1:38 AM | Report abuse

So instead of actually analyzing Pres. Obama's op-ed, you chose to a) ignore what he said, b) count some words, and c) write a boilerplate, three-paragraph column consisting of nothing more than the standard Republican mantras, unencumbered by any apparent wish to make an actual argument.

I'm sorry, but you really suck at political commentary.

Posted by: sembtex | July 13, 2009 3:27 AM | Report abuse

Clearly the stimulus did not work...and SPENDING horrendous amounts of TAXPAYERS' money is not the way to go. Tax cuts and incentives for small businesses is, and always has been the way to go. More and more government takeovers is absolutely MARXIST and gross. Soon, we will not recognize this country.

You cannot SPEND your way out of a recession. This is clear.

Bill is right on , per usual.

Posted by: magnoliajane77 | July 13, 2009 4:39 AM | Report abuse

Billy Kristol has once more earned the salary the Post pays him to be Rush Limbaugh's in-house mouthpiece. What a piece of neocon propaganda, as disconnected from reality as a commentary extolling cold fusion as a solution for our energy future. Once more, from the little namby pandy coward Billy Kristol, a call for Americans to rally behind the discredited policies of George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Rush Limbaugh.

Washington Post readers are left bewildered as to why a total numbscull like Kristol, who supported every failed, disastrous policy of the Bush Administration, is still being given space to repeat his drivel in what used to be a great newspaper. Go read the comments on Ombudsman Alexander's examination of Weymouth's salon fiasco. See how many Post readers make the connection between the Post's hiring of Fred Hiat and his merry little band of neocon nitwits and the Post's slide into the gutter of failed ethics and integrity.

Hmmm. Billy Kristol, Billy Kristol. Didn't he play a prominent role in getting George W. Bush elected President of the United States--twice? Isn’t Kristol one of those strange people who call themselves conservatives and told us that if we put them in charge, they would remake the Middle East by invading Iraq, impose fiscal responsibility, and cut the federal government down to size? So we put them in charge, and many years later, the Middle East is more de-stabilized than ever, the economy has collapsed, the federal budget, debt, and earmarks are out of control, and the federal government intrudes into our private lives more than ever.

Posted by: tbarksdl | July 13, 2009 4:54 AM | Report abuse

I live in the Nanny State of France and have a much better quality in life than if I lived in the non Nanny state of America.

Would that Obama create such a great medical system and adequate educate system.

Did you know in Switzerland for some specialties they PAY kids to go to University.

Posted by: DLN1 | July 13, 2009 6:33 AM | Report abuse

I live in the Nanny State of France and have a much better quality in life than if I lived in the non Nanny state of America.

Would that Obama create such a great medical system and adequate educate system.

Did you know in Switzerland for some specialties they PAY kids to go to University.

Posted by: DLN1 | July 13, 2009 6:39 AM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol knows little about "profits, investment, incentives, taxes, risk, enterprise or markets.'

Bill Kristol knows little about foreign policy, or military strategy.

Bill Kristol is a charter member of the Onan Cult of War-- a group of people who
get aroused at the thought of invading other countries, sending other people's
children to die -- on behalf of his favorite nanny state: Israel.

Posted by: Marcaurelius | July 13, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

mr. Kristol, please try moving your political philosophy beyond the late 18th century. A lot has happened since then.

Posted by: flamingliberal | July 13, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

We need to do something for people without health care but my dad before he died brought up one important point: if Obama creates really good health care for people who don't have any, then the private sector will drop their health insurance like a hot potato a) because it is costly b) their competitors will soon do it if not already and c) the government will take care of their employees anyway.

A. We don't want individuals to abuse the welfare system.
B. We don't want to encourage corporations to abuse the system either.

Posted by: cmarshdtihqcom | July 13, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

On the other hand if we can rescue people who are stuck on those psuedo-health-insurance plans that gladly take your premiums but hide behind high deducitibles, exclusions, and/or tiny reimbursement rates we really should.

In fact we should create a substitute entity partnered with business (so it is efficient) and backed by government (so it is not for profit, period, and can receive more money if the premiums are not enough) so people can jump off the psuedo-insurance, choose real insurance, and the pseudo-insurance companies can get a taste of bankruptcy.

Sort of like the William D. Ford Direct Student Loans. Just like the Stafford loans from banks backed by the U.S. government, but Clinton cut out the middleman, added some income-contingent repayment guidelines, and actually had loan forgiveness guidelines for worst-case scenarios.

Seems like the Direct loans are better, at least so to me. I consolidated the Perkins and Stafford loans after graduation.

Posted by: cmarshdtihqcom | July 13, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Big Bad Government – Early June ‘09- Sen. Colburn was asked on C-span to define ‘Socialism’

People should look that up –

Posted by: sasha2008 | July 13, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Republicans should celebrate Barack Obama's economic and foreign policy incompetence. Just when the country gets tired of Republicans running the show along come the Democrats to really drive things into the ground. Nixon/Carter, Bush/Obama you get the picture. Barry's the best thing the imploded Republicans have.

Obama's foreign policy accomplishments:

1. bows to Saudi tyrant and issues lame, insulting denial.

2. warmly embraces tyrant Hugo Chavez.

3. offends our greatest ally England.

4. bucks the Democratic Party's long history of supporting democracy around the world and tries a "nuanced" approach toward Iran making him look like a naive fool.

5. contradicts his V.P. on Israel and Iran.

6. signs ridiculous deal with Russia.

Obama's domestic accomplishments:

1. rewards his Wall Street friends with trillions of taxpayer money after they tanked our economy.

2. drives the deficit to all time record levels with nothing to show for it.

3. drives the real unemployment rate to 20%.

4. takes over bankrupt car companies.

5. in process: attempted take over of our health care system.

Barry's approval ratings have plummeted recently and will continue to tank as people continue to lose their jobs and are left with little to no prospects for employment. Barry will be a one term loser.

Posted by: djo4 | July 13, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Would you or any 'Country First' folks be able to answer this question?

What was the ‘Administration-wide effort to bring 'new tools and resources' to would-be homeowners…’ after June 13, 2003?

In 2003 what were these 'NEW TOOLS AND RESOURCES' implemented ADMINISTRATION-WIDE?

National Homeownership Month, 2003
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 13, 2003

By the National Homeownership Month, 2003
Homeownership is more than just a symbol of the American Dream; …
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is leading an Administration-wide effort to bring new tools and resources to would-be homeowners. (Cont.)


Obama? really? More talking points for the GOP Billy boy-


Posted by: sasha2008 | July 13, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Phil Gramm lost his position as the co-chairman of John McCain's presidential campaign when he blamed the recession not on the banking deregulation he championed but rather the people of the United States, which he described as a "nation of whiners."

But that was a sideshow compared with the serious charges now swirling around UBS, charges that may finally prove to be Gramm's undoing.

Wendy Gramm joined Enron's board...

2003-SEC Settles Enforcement Proceedings against J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup

J.P. Morgan Chase Agrees to Pay $135 Million to Settle SEC Allegations that It Helped Enron Commit Fraud

Citigroup Agrees to Pay $120 Million to Settle SEC Allegations that It Helped Enron and Dynegy Commit Fraud

2002-Federal Agents and FBI raid the largest ‘private’ financial investment firm, National Century Financial Enterprises, Inc. (NCFE) in Dublin, Ohio.

This case has been dubbed the ‘Largest’ private fraud case in financial industry.

JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, paid settlements regarding lack of oversight when transferring funds.

JPMorgan will not disclose their disbursements of their loans to healthcare companies and non- profit companies but will not release names.

Posted by: sasha2008 | July 13, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

8 years of anti-intellect policies.

Where are we?

So far behind- thanks to divisive people like you.

Wonder why we- America- are so far behind technologically?

April 3, 2009, 5:01 pm
World’s Fastest Broadband at $20 Per Home
By Saul Hansell

If you get excited about the prospect of really, really fast broadband Internet service, here’s a statistic that will make heart race. Or your blood boil. Or both.
Pretty much the fastest consumer broadband in the world is the 160-megabit-per-second service offered by J:Com, the largest cable company in Japan. Here’s how much the company had to invest to upgrade its network to provide that speed: $20 per home passed.

The cable modem needed for that speed costs about $60, compared with about $30 for the current generation.

By contrast, Verizon is spending an average of $817 per home passed to wire neighborhoods for its FiOS fiber optic network and another $716 for equipment and labor in each home that subscribes, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Company.

Posted by: sasha2008 | July 13, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"Republicans can propose instead incentives for economic growth and job-creation consistent with free markets and limited government, accompanied by reasonable regulations that will avoid a repeat of the financial meltdown."

Yeah, they can. Let's hear them. All I read is buzzwords like the above, along with others like "empower," "accountable," and "reform." Obama's told us what he wants to do and how it's supposed to work. (Of course, it might not work, but at least it's a plan.) What exactly do the Republicans want to do--what rules, what regulations, what incentives--and how are they supposed to play out in practice? An earlier poster suggested visiting the Republican congressional websites to find out; I just did, and all I found was whining and sniping and more buzzwords. Put a proposal on the table, Bill!

Posted by: Wakey1 | July 13, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

William has a poor historical memory. Just saying the Republican mantra doesn't make it so.

Posted by: jckdoors | July 13, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Wakey - don't hold your breath waiting - "incentives for economic growth and job-creation consistent with free markets and limited government" is just a really long way of saying "cut taxes for rich people."

There are no new GOP ideas; only old ones covered up with new artful terms of BS.

Posted by: JennOfArk | July 13, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

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