Unchecked Government Marches On
By Arnold Kling
Without irony, the Washington Post headline blares,
FTC Wants to Know What Big Brother Knows About You
The crime under investigation is targeted advertising on the Internet, where firms use databases to try to serve ads that are relevant to you, rather than random. I am not sure that we should be concerned about database-driven marketing. I am much more concerned about the real Big Brother in this case, which is the FTC.
Turning to the editorial page, we have
Arcane and often irrational, its subsidy provisions can be difficult to understand and, sometimes, even difficult to identify. Even after Congress passed a subsidy-riddled 673-page farm bill last week, with a price tag conservatively set at $289 billion, it was not entirely clear just how big a burden lawmakers had imposed on taxpayers. Now, however, the fine print is coming into focus, and — surprise! — the bill could authorize up to $16 billion more in crop subsidies than previously projected
Back on the front page, the lead story begins,
The House easily overrode President Bush’s veto of a $307 billion farm bill last night in what appeared to be the most significant legislative rebuff of Bush’s presidency.
In the reporter’s judgment, the most important thing about the farm bill is that it is a rebuff to President Bush. So if you hate Bush, you should love the farm bill?
Moreover, this is the the most significant legislative rebuff. Even more significant than refusing to consider any of the President’s proposals to reform Social Security or the tax treatment of health benefits, apparently.
But not to worry. This will all change in January. President Obama will not be rebuffed. He voted for the farm bill.