Polls have shown that in the last 11 months, as Amer­i­cans have started to think hard about Demo­cratic pro­pos­als, they have be­come less con­fi­dent in gov­ern­ment’s abil­ity to di­rect so­ci­ety.

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

of in­di­vid­ual health in­sur­ance. And the CBO says the bill would not bend the cost curve down­ward.

Demo­cratic leaders want to pass some­thing, al­most any­thing, for fear of po­lit­i­cal dam­age. They want to give gov­ern­ment even more power over one-sixth of the econ­omy, and over or­di­nary peo­ple’s health care. To that end, they have been happy to game the CBO’s scor­ing sys­tem, mis­us­ing spe­cial­ized knowl­edge to achieve po­lit­i­cal ends. tion Agency’s des­ig­na­tion of car­bon diox­ide as a pol­lu­tant is an at­tempt to give EPA bu­reau­crats such con­trol in the likely event that the Se­nate fails to pass some­thing like the bill the House passed last June.

So politi­cians are act­ing ei­ther in ig­no­rance of spe­cial­ist knowl­edge or by ma­nip­u­lat­ing and mis­us­ing it in the con­vic­tion that cen­tral plan­ners can or­ga­nize and con­trol hu­man be­hav­ior bet­ter than in­di­vid­u­als can through mar­kets and vol­un­tary action op­er­at­ing un­der the rules. The econ­omy mostly thrived.

In con­trast, re­form in Rus­sia was top-down: Mikhail Gor­bachev changed the rules, but that al­lowed ap­pa­ratchiks to gob­ble up state in­dus­tries and cre­ated new mo­nop­o­lies, over which Vladimir Putin’s gov­ern­ment re-es­tab­lished con­trol. The econ­omy mostly stag­nated.

The Democrats’ health care and cap-and-trade bills are clas­sic top-down leg­is­la­tion. Many in­side play­ers have bought into the changes and

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