Friday, February 06, 2009

Will: U.S. Better Off After Economy Recovers | Newsweek Voices - George F. Will |

The stimulus legislation is a strange response to the president's inaugural call for "a new era of responsibility." State and local governments, which in the five flush years 2003–07 irresponsibly increased spending five times faster than population growth, will get hundreds of billions. Forty-nine states have governors better than California's, but as that state sinks into insolvency (its budget deficit is 40 percent of the sum of all the states' deficits) Arnold Schwarzenegger is merrily saving the planet.

Last week the president gave California permission to impose, for vehicles sold there, one of Schwarzenegger's many dubious achievements—fuel-efficiency standards even more burdensome than the federal standards. California's market is so large, its standards will force upon Detroit's insolvent manufacturers (actually, upon taxpayers) the additional costs of hastening production of cars people do not want to buy (which is why government coercion is "necessary").

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