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Stuff Leftist People Like #11-20 (aka Top 10 Things Leftists Like Continued)

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Posted on November 10 2010 9:00 am
Scott Spiegel blogs at http://www.scottspiegel.com. He can be reached at spiegelscott@yahoo.com.

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#17: “Taking Action”

Leftists love “taking action” to solve what they perceive to be society-wide problems, even when (1) no problem exists, (2) government intervention is inappropriate or unconstitutional, and (3) the government’s solution creates additional problems or makes a problem worse.

Cash for Clunkers: Thanks to Obama’s Cash for Clunkers program last summer, American taxpayers subsidized car owners to do what they would have done eventually—scrap their old cars and buy new ones. “Clunkers” was perversely profligate in numerous ways, among them the fact that it forced car dealers to waste time filling out onerous paperwork to get reimbursed by the government and adding legal riders to contracts with car buyers regarding liability for rebates. Mechanics had to squander effort draining each car’s oil, then donning protective suits and carrying out a dangerous procedure involving pouring sodium silicate on the engines to make them “seize up” and cease to function. This government-mandated engine-cide was a problem for auto parts sellers, who earn the bulk of their income reselling engines, motors, and transmissions—all of which had to be intentionally damaged and made unsalable to comply with program rules. More disturbingly, the reduced supply of used engines led to increased costs for used cars, because so many used car engines could not be resold to potential buyers.

Health Care Reform: For most of last year’s health care reform debate, Obama acted as though he were the very opposite of Hamlet—desperately eager to do something on health care reform, right this minute, without any particular idea what it should be. In a speech he gave in September, Obama declared that “we do intend to get something done this year” but hedged by saying that he was “open to new ideas.” Open to new ideas? This is the guy who demanded that Congress had to pass a comprehensive overhaul by the end of last July? Obama and his staffers were urgently motivated to do something, anything, on health care reform, so that they would be able to say that they did—something, anything.

Stimulating the Economy: Given the miserable failure of last year’s trillion-dollar stimulus bill, naturally Congressional Democrats began clamoring for… another stimulus bill! In July 2009, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer declared, “We need to be open to… further action.” Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said that another stimulus would “probably take place towards the end of the year.” Because if there’s anything that helps get you out of the hole you’ve dug yourself into, it’s digging even deeper.

In arguing for Ben Bernanke’s reappointment as Federal Reserve Chairman earlier this year, Time magazine raved:

“[H]e conjured up trillions of new dollars and blasted them into the economy; engineered massive public rescues of failing private companies… lent to mutual funds, hedge funds, foreign banks, investment banks, manufacturers, insurers and other borrowers who had never dreamed of receiving Fed cash… revolutionized housing finance with a breathtaking shopping spree for mortgage bonds; blew up the Fed’s balance sheet to three times its previous size; and generally transformed the staid arena of central banking into a stage for desperate improvisation.”

“Conjured up,” “blasted,” “engineered,” “revolutionized,” “shopping spree,” “blew up,” “desperate improvisation”—these don’t sound like reassuring terms for investors in the world’s largest financial system. But to Democrats, Bernanke gets major points because these steps all involve “taking action.”  The only action leftists don’t like taking is “butting out.”

Next: Why nothing is your fault…

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