On Morning Joe today the shifting panel started out talking about the Hagel confirmation holdup. Scarborough believes that the GOP is hurting itself by playing games over Hagel because of personal vendettas. McCain obviously doesn't like Hagel and is squeezing him. Morning Joe showed a clip of Obama saying that the need for 60 votes to confirm his nomination for Defense Secretary is no way to govern, and that he needs a Defense Secretary. I wrote on Twitter yesterday that Republicans should say hell no or go ahead and vote for his confirmation. If Republicans say hell no they should present the reasons for opposing Hagel, then stand their ground. Hagel is merely a stooge for Obama, but it's a distraction that needs to be dealt with so that more important issues can be dealt with.
The Morning Joe crew then praised Elizabeth Warren for her excoriation of bank regulators in a hearing yesterday. My problem with this praise is that Warren is not actually courageous, because she's wondering why regulators didn't punish banks, rather than exposing government's complicity with banks that came from the top down -- if top government officials who were complicit in the banks' implosion are not punished, then there's no courage in attacking regulators and banks. With the government/Federal Reserve relationship, and with top level government pressure for banks to lend to unqualified borrowers, and with all the crony relationships running through government, government officials should have been prosecuted along with any bankers who broke the law. No one on Morning Joe brought up the fact the government officials in high positions were just as much to blame for the financial crisis as Big Banks -- they simply blamed government regulators, then said government bailed out the banks, as if bankers are the culprits who possess the power. It's the other way around -- government used banks to achieve their political ends,and the result was a mess of corruption and financial damage that hurt the American taxpayers but not government officials who started and guided it all, or the banks that went along with the plan and profitted from the plan.
Steve Case then came on, and a serious discussion broke out for a few minutes. Scarborough and others on the show, like Ed Rendell and Richard Hass and David Gregory and Eugene Washington, talked about the need for government spending short term to create economic growth, coupled with the need to develope long term plans to deal with entitlement debt. Steve Case said that entrepreneurs are no Golden Retrievers to be petted every once in awhile -- they're vital to economic growth. Then the mongrel philosophies of the political class came out.
Washington praised Obama for his plan to explain to the American people why government is necessary. Washington criticized those calling for limits to government who don't understand the vital need for government actions in times like these. Scarborough and the rest of the gang agreed that government can do things like invest in ifrastructure and education and research and developement. Then Scarborough brought up a poll that showed 51% of Americans don't trust government interventions. Scarborough didn't talk about limits to power, didn't say he promotes limits to power, he just left the poll results hanging. GOP Centrists are trying to combine the public's distrust of government interventions with the need for government to do some things, smartly -- this way they can try to please everyone, but it doesn't work.
As Case said, entrepreneurship is vital, and, although Case didn't say this, if government continues to intervene, entrepreneurs will be repressed or flatout blocked from acting. Government investment, private/public partnership, government subsidies of private industry, government regulation, all these are government interventions in the private sector which eventually cause uncertainty among entrepreneurs and those investors in the private sector who undertand business. Limits on government power mean government hands off the economy -- the mixed economy we've had for decades has failed. Mixed economy is a nice term to disguise the economy-destroying actions of statism.
But no one on Morning Joe discussed these issues of limits-- they simply joined the concepts, limits and no-limits, together as if they solved the problem, then went on to describe how government has to solve our economic problems through more interventions, although our problems are largely a result of prior interventions. If we as a society are determined to trust government to provide a safety net for society, then in order to pay for the safety net, economic liberty is necessary to fund such a welfare state. We can't maintain a statist system which constantly intervenes in the economy plus a strong welfare state, much less the other half, the warfare part of the State (of course, I'm okay with leaving the mideast). Statist interventions are causing prolonged economic stagnation, and, thus, the welfare state is in danger of falling apart. Obama's Progressive agenda is impossible to achieve, and blaming Republicans won't change anything. More government interventions will only make the economy worse and the welfare state weaker.