Obama and his “Leavening Hand”

Obama’s health care pitch on Wednesday night contained the usual howlers. One of the biggest hoots of the evening came in this riff –

“Our predecessors understood… that the danger of too much government is matched by the perils of too little; that that without the leavening hand of wise policy, markets can crash, monopolies can stifle competition, and the vulnerable can be exploited.

Thank goodness the Securities and Exchange Commission is protecting investors, thank goodness the Postal Service is assuring free choice, and thank goodness the Pentagon is humanely protecting everyone who falls under its power.

The Obama health reform debate is about Statism, pure and simple. There is no way to support Obama’s proposals without assuming that government is far nobler and more competent than it actually is.


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5 Responses to Obama and his “Leavening Hand”

  1. Peter Smith September 10, 2009 at 1:37 am #

    you have a choice — tyranny of the state, or tyranny of corporations. you choose corporations. i choose state. at least my crew is publicly accountable. yours is not.

    there is no reason to believe that government is noble or competent at all — just less ignoble and less incompetent than corporations — that decision is easy.

    once we limit the power of corporations, then we can start to limit the power of the government. right now, committing to corporations is suicide — as evidenced in myriad and ongoing crises facing the nation and the world.

    libertarians can play an important role — they can either defend freedom, or defend corporations — you can’t do both. unfortunately, i don’t expect libertarians to change tack.

  2. Chris Mallory September 10, 2009 at 10:29 am #

    You do realize that corporations are created by the government and draw all their power from the government? Reduce the power of government and you reduce corporate power. Pretty simple really.

  3. W Baker September 10, 2009 at 11:16 am #


    Good post. Hat tip to the Obama speechwriter who introduced “leavening” into the speech. Doesn’t it sound so biblical and erudite! What Obama fails to mention however is that the massive amounts of governmental yeast has led to chronic candida (bacterial growth in the colon/bowel and elsewhere on the distaff side)!

    Re: Mr. Smith’s comments about the accountability of corporations vs. government. Any chance of getting some accountability for the tens of thousands of innocent deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan in just the last 8 years? (The Lancet puts the Iraqi death toll at over a million.)

    Hell, our own poor bastards who have had good portions of their bodies blown off or their minds reduced to mush can’t even get a modicum of accountability from government health care (the VA).

    There are some dastardly corporations out there who maim and enslave their workers or just get away with gross theft. The worst ones, of course, are the fascist variety, i.e., Blackwater, Halliburton, the banking industry, etc. I have yet, however, to ever read of any corporation who killed a million or anything approaching that number without the imprimatur of government decrees, regulations, or subsidies (Blackwater’s contracts, Goldman Sachs bailouts, for example).

    Up to this point I’m not financially obliged or physically coerced to support any corporation. The same can’t be said for government.

    When Gates, Rummy, Clinton (Mr. and Mrs.), Dubya, Rice, Biden, and a good 400 of the gang of 435 – to name a few – don orange suits and give tearful interviews from padded cells, I’ll take notice. Until then, please, no more yeast.

  4. Jim September 10, 2009 at 10:48 pm #

    Wes, thanks for your stout explanation on the difference between corporations and governments.

    On the leavening agent – If something is a leavening agent, it produces gas.

    Politicians do a damn good job of that, but I don’t see how we should be indebted to them for that.

  5. Dirk W. Sabin September 11, 2009 at 1:58 pm #

    I think the President may have been thinking of the Department of Energy, established by Jimmy Carter i believe and its charge was to “reduce the dependence of the United States on Foreign sources of energy” . Gee, this has worked so well, why would you doubt that a government health program would work any less swimmingly.

    I do like the comedy of the poster who suggested that there is much difference, or any daylight between the succubus Government and her Corporate host. They might be fine if sobered up and apart but these two barflys magnify the ills of one another with a predictable energy that almost seems pre-ordained.