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Whatever Replaces Obamacare Will Look a Lot Like Obamacare

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- “Mend it, don’t end it” was Bill Clinton’s rhetorical straddle regarding affirmative action. Republican efforts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) look increasingly like “mend it, don’t end it.”

The problem is not that, as is frequently said, no entitlement can be ended. The most ...Read more

Whatever Replaces Obamacare Will Look a Lot Like Obamacare

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- “Mend it, don’t end it” was Bill Clinton’s rhetorical straddle regarding affirmative action. Republican efforts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) look increasingly like “mend it, don’t end it.”

The problem is not that, as is frequently said, no entitlement can be ended. The most ...Read more

Questions for Judge Gorsuch

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee will question Neil Gorsuch about the judiciary’s role. Herewith some pertinent questions:

-- Lincoln’s greatness began with his recoil from the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act, which empowered residents of those territories to decide whether to have slavery. The act’s premise was that “...Read more

The NEA is a Government Frill That Should be Shorn

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- Although the National Endowment for the Arts’ 2016 cost of $148 million was less than one-hundredth of 1 percent of the federal budget, attempting to abolish the NEA is a fight worth having, never mind the certain futility of the fight.

Let’s pretend, counterfactually, that the NEA no longer funds the sort of rubbish that once...Read more

A Place to Learn and Celebrate America’s Foundational Principles

From the Right / George Will /

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Encouraging developments are as welcome as they are rare in colleges and universities that cultivate diversity in everything but thought. Fortunately, state legislatures, alumni and philanthropists are planting little academic platoons that will make campuses less intellectually monochrome. One such, just launched, is Arizona ...Read more

Eugenics Was a Progressive Cause

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- The progressive mob that disrupted Charles Murray’s appearance last week at Middlebury College was protesting a 1994 book read by few if any of the protesters. Some of them denounced “eugenics,” thereby demonstrating an interesting ignorance: Eugenics -- controlled breeding to improve the heritable traits of human beings -- ...Read more

New OMB Chief Tackles Rubik’s Cube of Federal Budget

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- The dyspeptic Henry Adams was not nice but not wrong when he described what now is named the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, adjacent to the White House, as an “architectural infant asylum.” The granite pile, which once housed the State, War and Navy departments, was, Harry Truman said, “the greatest monstrosity in ...Read more

‘Big Government’ is Ever Growing, on the Sly

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- In 1960, when John Kennedy was elected president, America’s population was 180 million and it had approximately 1.8 million federal bureaucrats (not counting uniformed military personnel and postal workers). Fifty-seven years later, with seven new Cabinet agencies, and myriad new sub-Cabinet agencies (e.g., the Environmental ...Read more

An Adult Voice Amid Pandemic Childishness

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- In his 72 years, Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, who was raised in segregated Richmond, Virginia, acknowledges that he has seen much change, often for the better, including advances in the 1960s. But in his elegant new memoir, “All Falling Faiths: Reflections on the Promise and ...Read more

Congress, Not the President, Should Raise Tariffs

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- In theory, if only occasionally in fact, Congress plays a role when a president wants to initiate military hostilities. Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah thinks Congress should also have a say when a president wants to initiate a trade war.

Lee is a constitutional, meaning an actual, conservative who is eager for Congress to ...Read more

Who Will Protect Americans from Their Protectors?

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- At their post-Civil War apogee, 19th-century Republicans were the party of activist government, using protectionism to pick commercial winners and promising wondrous benefits from government’s deft interventions in economic life. Today, a Republican administration promises that wisely wielded Washington power can rearrange ...Read more

The North Korean Red Line

From the Right / George Will /

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- The Cold War was waged and won in many places, including this beach city, home to the RAND Corp. Created in 1948 to think about research and development as it effects military planning and procurement, RAND pioneered strategic thinking about nuclear weapons in the context of the U.S.-Soviet competition. Seven decades ...Read more

A Modest Proposal to Solve Inequality

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- Tight labor markets shrink income inequality by causing employers to bid up the price of scarce labor, so policymakers fretting about income inequality could give an epidemic disease a try. This might be a bit extreme but if increased equality is the goal, Stanford’s Walter Scheidel should be heard. His scholarship encompasses ...Read more

Where Justice Scalia Was Wrong

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- With an asperity born of exasperation, Justice Antonin Scalia once wrote, “If you want aspirations, you can read the Declaration of Independence,” but “there is no such philosophizing in our Constitution,” which is “a practical and pragmatic charter of government.” Scalia was wrong, and much depends on Neil Gorsuch not ...Read more

An Excess of Intellectual Emptiness

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- In 2013, a college student assigned to research a deadly substance sought help via Twitter: “I can’t find the chemical and physical properties of sarin gas someone please help me.” An expert at a security consulting firm tried to be helpful, telling her that sarin is not gas. She replied, “yes the [expletive] it is a gas ...Read more

The Real Cost of Protectionism

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- When the president speaks of closed factories scattered like “tombstones” across America, has he noticed the shuttered stores in shopping centers, and entire malls reduced to rubble? He promises “protection” to prevent foreigners from “destroying” manufacturing jobs by exporting to America things that Americans want to ...Read more

Cooperstown Must Decide if it’s a Museum or a Shrine

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- Many Americans are more thoughtful when choosing appliances than when choosing presidents, but the baseball writers whose ballots decide who is “enshrined” -- more about that verb anon -- in Cooperstown’s Hall of Fame are mostly conscientious voters struggling to unravel a knotty puzzle: How to treat retired players who are ...Read more

A Most Dreadful Inaugural Address

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- Twenty minutes into his presidency, Donald Trump, who is always claiming to have made, or to be about to make, astonishing history, had done so. Living down to expectations, he had delivered the most dreadful inaugural address in history.

Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s White House counselor, had promised that the speech would be “...Read more

The Waterbeetle of American Politics

From the Right / George Will /

He flabbergasts the Human Race
By gliding on the water’s face
With ease, celerity and grace;
But if he ever stopped to think
Of how he did it, he would sink.

-- Hilaire Belloc, on the waterbeetle

WASHINGTON -- Leaving aside the missing element of grace and the improbability of his ever stopping to think, Donald...Read more

The Patent and Trademark Office’s Assault on Free Speech

From the Right / George Will /

EDITORS -- Note the nature of some of the entities named in this column.

WASHINGTON -- In 1929, Chief Justice William Howard Taft convinced Congress to finance construction of “a building of dignity and importance” for the Supreme Court. He could not have imagined what the court will ponder during oral arguments this Wednesday. The case ...Read more

 
 

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