Principles

PRINCIPLES….Jonah Goldberg complains about the notion that conservatives are more warmly disposed to farm subsidies than liberals:

This always puzzled me because I think Yglesias and countless others are basically right when they complain that subsides are a bipartisan phenomenon of appropriators (though I would argue that liberalism is philosophically more conducive to this sort of thing because it offers no principled objection to lavish spending of this sort beyond a crude argument that there are others more deserving of welfare).

All the worse for conservative philosophy, then, since it certainly doesn’t seem to have made a lick of difference when it comes to real-life legislating. If conservatives are philosophically opposed to farm pork — and Jonah offers a creditable argument that they’re not only philosophically opposed but almost universally opposed in practice as well — and yet Republicans all merrily and enthusiastically support ag subsidies anyway, then what good are conservative principles in the first place?

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