Swift Wits: Obama to Bailout Newspapers?

burning newspaperBailout the Newspapers?

Many of our nation’s newspapers are in major financial trouble and now Senator Ben Cardin has introduced S. 673, the “Newspaper Revitalization Act.” The act would give tax deals if newspapers restructure as nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporations. Barack Obama, for his part, has said he’d be “…happy to look at it.”

Thomas Jefferson once said, “If I had to choose between government without newspapers, and newspapers without government, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose the latter.” While I don’t hear many people clamoring to get rid of the government in its entirety as a possible solution, I do understand why Obama and many others may feel the need to save our newspapers, especially the local ones.

The thing is, Thomas Jefferson had never heard of the Internet or cable TV. From what I understand, subscription magazines weren’t even available back then. Looking at it objectively, it’s quite concerning that the government would step in to help out struggling newspapers. In principle, they could just help them out and leave them alone, but “in principle” is usually a hypothetical possibility that will never come to pass. In the real world, this would create a very disturbing conflict of interest. After all, Thomas Jefferson also said, “No government ought to be without censors, and where the press is free, no one ever will.” If newspapers rely on the government for financial support, will they be willing to critically scrutinize government? Wouldn’t that be biting the hand that feeds them? It would seem to me that the government could easily use that financial assistance as a cudgel for some form of censorship. Even just the fear of repercussions could conceivably get newspapers to censor themselves. Is the press completely free if this happens? Furthermore, it would also seem to me that newspapers are a bit archaic; The Internet is the wave of the future. Or maybe I’m just tired of all the bailouts.

Poll Says 45% of Doctors Would Consider Quitting If Public Option Passes

A new IBD/TIPP poll of 1376 practicing physicians found that two thirds oppose Obama’s planned overhaul of the healthcare system, and 45% would consider quitting or retiring early. This contradicts claims by the administration and the American Medical Association that the medical profession supports the president’s plan. The AMA, after all, only represents approximately 18% of doctors, and therefore cannot speak on all of their behalf.

Now, most of that 45% would almost certainly not quit and we should obviously care more about the patients than the doctors. Still, this represents another reason to consider a different kind of overhaul; like perhaps emulating the successful, market-oriented system in Singapore.

Peter Schiff Announces Candidacy for Senate

After much deliberation and a series of “money bombs” that provided Peter Schiff’s nonexistent, but potential campaign over a million dollars; Peter Schiff finally did it; He announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. If he can get through the Republican primary, he will challenge the very corrupt – Chris Dodd in Connecticut. As my colleague Ryan Swift put it, this would be like trading Pau Gasol for Kwame Brown all over again. Except this time with politics (and for good, I hate the Lakers). Here he is announcing his candidacy on Morning Joe:

H.R. 1207: Now Suspension Proof

H.R. 1207, Ron Paul’s bill to audit the Federal Reserve has now surpassed 290 co-sponsors, including every Republican in the House. The Senate bill is still languishing, but this is certainly good news given how secretive the Federal Reserve has been lately. Also, check out Ron Paul’s new book: End the Fed.

Policing Garage Sales

Unless you’ve been in a comatose state for the last year or so, it’s pretty obvious that the government has encroached on economic freedom in unparalleled and unprecedented ways. However, this one takes the cake for all out ridiculousness. The “Resale Round-up,” launched by the Consumer Products Safety Commission, is an attempt to enforce new limits on lead paint in children’s toys and an array of other regulations related to reselling recalled products. Violators could face fines of up to $100,000 per infraction and $15 million for a related series of infractions.

People, including those having garage sales, are now expected to consult the 24 page Handbook for Resale Stores and Product Resellers. Luckily, CSPC spokesman Scott Wolfson said, “CPSC is not seeking to pursue penalties against individuals hosting a garage sale or yard sale, we are encouraging them to take the right steps to not resell recalled products.” Still, I don’t take much stock in what the government says and just the fact that they now have the authority to police garage sales is not very reassuring. Furthermore, who exactly is going to read a 24 page handbook before having a garage sale?

The law is obviously pointed at retailers. That is actually where the problem may lie as it appears that some resale stores and charities have stopped accepting children’s toys altogether. Something that Goodwill CEO Jim Gibbons says has some clients very concerned. Oh the unintended consequences, when will government ever learn? (Hint: never)

1 Comment

  • Ron Paul continues to be an EXTREMELY fringe candidate and despite the fact that he has a couple of mildly beneficial rants on occasion, he will NEVER break through. I believe he would probably make a much better conservative democrat.

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