Well, the results are in from Super Tuesday, and liberty hasn’t fared well. A complete breakdown of the results can be found in this easy to read chart at the New York Times. Granted, we don’t have the results from American Samoa in yet, but John McCain took a commanding lead in the Republican race and the Democrats will be choosing between Clinton and Obama. That’s bad news for liberty any way you look at it. Both Clinton and Obama are big spenders and traditional liberals based on their announced program. The National Taxpayers Union estimates that Clinton will pump up spending by $218 billion and Obama will prime the federal budget with $287 billion in extra money (taxes). Clinton is planning to spend $218 billion on health care (hello national health insurance) and homeland security/law enforcement. Obama, interestingly, is dumping most of his new spending ($105 billion) into economic growth, tansportation and infrastructure and health care ($99 billion). Sounds a lot like an updated New Deal. McCain at least isn’t planning to spend a lot more money–just $7 billion more spread out over defense, homeland security, health care, and education & research. So, at least fiscal conservatives can see him as a viable alternative to Clinton and Obama. McCain’s will be terrible on the regulatory side. We know that from McCain-Feingold. He’s also big on foreign interventionism as our colleague Matt Welch exaplained in his engaging and candid book McCain: The Myth of a Maverick. Matt’s book, by the way, is getting great reviews from readers and I was pleased to find it on the “politics best picks” display at major regional bookstore in my home town (Books & Co.).
Samuel R. Staley, Ph.D. is a senior research fellow at Reason Foundation and managing director of the DeVoe L. Moore Center at Florida State University in Tallahassee where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in urban planning, regulation, and urban economics. Prior to joining Florida State, Staley was director of urban growth and land-use policy for Reason Foundation where he helped establish its urban policy program in 1997.