Must-read Op-eds: April 28, 2011

Updated
 

DEPARTMENT OF GOOD NEWS BY GAIL COLLINS
NEW YORK TIMES

Well, I just don’t see how things can get better than this when it comes to current affairs. Prince William is about to get married and President Obama has released his long-form birth certificate. All we need now is for the House speaker, John Boehner, to follow through on his call for the oil companies to pay their fair share of taxes. Then, really, I think we could go into the weekend with a true feeling of closure…Our next question is how far the closure extends. Will the birthers who have been demanding to see that long-form certificate since 2008 now throw in the towel and move on to other important issues, such as whether the rapture will occur on May 21?

GREAT LEAP BACKWARD BY NICHOLAS KRISTOF
NEW YORK TIMES

In truth, the differences with Egypt and Tunisia are profound. China’s leaders may be just as autocratic as those in the Middle East, and just as corrupt, but they’re far more competent. They’ve overseen astonishing improvements in the standard of living, in education, in health, in infrastructure. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself: That’s the topic of my next column…Here we have a country that is coming of age, with an economic rise that is pretty much unprecedented in the history of the world — and it tarnishes those achievements with a harsh crackdown. For those of us who love China and believe in its future, this retreat is painful to watch.

A CAMPAIGN-FINANCE BILL THAT DOESN’T PASS MUSTER BY GEORGE WILL
WASHINGTON POST

I would just much rather have someone pay me without ever having to worry about those pesky things like whether or not I’m doing a good enough job to warrant their continued investment in me.’ And those people should go to work for the government. There is nothing wrong with senators having to go out and mix among the people, and to say, ‘This is what I’m doing, and I need your support to keep doing it.’ 

HOW SERIOUS ARE WE REALLY ABOUT THE DEFICIT? BY MICHAEL GERSON
WASHINGTON POST

Public opinion is both divided and pliant. This places a premium on responsible leadership — which the president has not shown. It is not responsible to suggest that serious entitlement reform is unnecessary or that the costs of expansive government can be borne by a few. Obama rightly believes that most Democrats will embrace these arguments. He is calculating that independents will be frightened by the Republican alternative. But by playing this game, Obama is squandering his reputation as the adult in the room. This political judgment calls into question the rest of Obama’s judgment.

OBAMA’S MILLIONAIRE OBSESSION BY DANIEL HENNINGER
WALL STREET JOURNAL

But by the end of 2009, giving by millionaire households returned to 52% of the national total. It is an eternal question whether the deductibility of such spending means the charitable activity by these people is bogus and driven only by self-regard. One man’s answer: Eliminate the charitable deduction, drop—or flatten—the top tax rate and total giving will rise, not fall. Giving is what Americans do, at all income levels. It becomes clearer by the day that Barack Obama’s worldview is that if money isn’t spent by the federal government, it’s somehow irrelevant. What began with the $800 billion stimulus in 2009 has turned into a personal compulsion to fund his galaxy of public “investments,” such as high-speed rail and biofuels research.

 

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Must-read Op-eds: April 28, 2011

Updated