Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rand Paul Proposes Cuts in Government Spending

Now, this is fun, because Paul is a libertarian who believes that every man is an island, functioning all just fine by himself, with home laboratories for checking food products and so on. I wrote "man" because I think Paul has never thought how this applies to women at all. Or how it apples to children or old people or anyone who is sick and not equipped with radar eyes.

Anyways, Talking Points Memo says that they have his deficit reduction program. If that is true, we can learn what the tea partiers will get, never mind what they think they will get.

Paul would cut all those things that the liberals don't want to have cut, naturally, though he also proposes some defense cuts which the conservatives don't like. But this is really the most fascinating trim he desires:

To rescind all funds from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

As TPM points out, that's the place where they regulate lead paint or notify us about dangerous metals in children's jewelry or about cribs which are sold with unsafe spacing between the spindles.

And here's the deep inner flaw in the libertarians' economic thinking: They don't really believe in public goods. Even though public goods exist, and even though the markets fail to produce them in sufficient amounts. Libertarians simply refuse to believe in them! Thus, they don't see why a shared system of safety checks is superior to all of us learning how to use an expensive laboratory at home, and they don't see why a market for those services would never produce as many of them as shared provision does. If every man is an island, nobody needs lighthouses!