Morning Reads: Will, Sowell, and Gregory …

Good stuff to start the day.

Burning down the house – The Washington Post: “Put on asbestos mittens and pick up “Reckless Endangerment,” the scalding new book by Gretchen Morgenson, a New York Times columnist, and Joshua Rosner, a housing finance expert. They will introduce you to James A. Johnson, an emblem of the administrative state that liberals admire. The book’s subtitle could be: “Cry ‘Compassion’ and Let Slip the Dogs of Cupidity.” Or: “How James Johnson and Others (Mostly Democrats) Made the Great Recession.” The book is another cautionary tale about government’s terrifying self-confidence. It is, the authors say, “a story of what happens when Washington decides, in its infinite wisdom, that every living, breathing citizen should own a home.””

Politics Versus Reality by Thomas Sowell: “It is hard to understand politics if you are hung up on reality. Politicians leave reality to others. What matters in politics is what you can get the voters to believe, whether it bears any resemblance to reality or not. Not only among politicians, but also among much of the media, and even among some of the public, the quest is not for truth about reality but for talking points that fit a vision or advance an agenda. Some seem to see it as a personal contest about who is best at fencing with words. The current controversy over whether to deal with our massive national debt by cutting spending, or whether instead to raise tax rates on ‘the rich,’ is a classic example of talking points versus reality.”

The Topsy-Turvy Liberal View of Taxation – The Beacon: “Obama insists that the United States can’t afford to maintain corporate tax cuts. As with all modern liberals, when he says the U.S. can’t afford it, he means the government can’t afford it without cutting spending. With nearly four trillion dollars of expenditures a year, I suppose it’s very understandable that the president, as most of his ideological ilk, view tax cuts – signifying where the government is refraining from taking privately owned money in the first place – as a reasonable “cost” to “society,” that ought to be phased out, long before the empire, police state, and trillions of dollars in domestic goodies are trimmed back more than a nominal amount.”