Sorry, but I had to pop in for one more post before I depart.
One of the little known facts of government that has ALWAYS driven me crazy is the cost of regulations.
In 2003 the Treasury Department reported that federal discretionary spending was $825 billion (Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2005 page 150, 2000, U.S. Government Printing Office) and in 2003 the total of all individual income taxes paid was $794 billion. (Treasury Department Gross Tax Collections: Amount Collected by Quarter and Fiscal Year, 1987-2003) and the total of all corporate income taxes paid in 2003 was $197 billion (W. Crain, T. Hopkins, The Impact of Regulatory Costs on Small Firms). According to the Crain and Hopkins study, commissioned by the U.S. Small Business Adminsitration, the annual cost of ALL federal regulations is presently estimated at about $843 billion with the impact of environmental regulations (many of which have dubious benefits) costing $132 billion.
Why do I mention these very troubling number, indicative of a gluttonous federal government?
Because in the last few days both the New York Times and Washington Post have run major articles on President Bush's failure to enact enough regulation, with the Post's Howard Kurtz giving the subject an additional treatment on Tuesday.
To see what the biased media elite's are talking about, check out this graphic from the New York Times and the cost of new regulations.
Now, for months, many liberatarians have complained about the increased size of government under Bush. Democrats, correctly, criticized him for months on this issue, and the average listener may have been led to believe this was a problem they the Democrats intended (at least in their talking points) to correct, if only we elected John Kerry.
I just never imagined their suggested correction would be to keep growing the size of government.
This has all led Virginia Postrel to ask a very important question, that I absolutly concur with:
Why on earth would a libertarian vote for Goerge Bush?
I hope this clarifies the answer.