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Reason Writers on TV: Matt Welch Discusses President Obama's New Regulatory Re-Think on Varney & Co.


This morning, Reason Editor in Chief Matt Welch went on Fox Business Network's Varney & Co. to express some skepticism about President Barack Obama's executive order to re-examine federal regulations:

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  1. 3 students shot at L.A. high school. Suspected gunman, still at large, is black, dressed in black. The Rev. Al Sharpton urges restraint.

    1. Sarah Palin and the teabaggers have struck again.

    2. Link below.

    3. Actually, only two were shot and it was an accidental firing that occurred when a student slammed his gun-containing backpack down on a desk. So, no story here, really. Just a 15 y/o at school with a fucking loaded and cocked pistol in his backpack! No problem.

      1. See, it’s just like proper sex education. If he had the real facts about guns, instead of the bullshit spin, the student would never have had a round chambered or slammed his backpack around. I think gun education is the only solution.

  2. Matt Welch blah blah, to express blah blah skepticism.

    Drop yer pants and moon the cameras Matt, that would be a clip worth noting on H&R.

  3. I know this was linked in the morning links, but Obama’s editorial today in the WSJ was a doozy. He argues that government regulation has saved us from so many evils over the years (dubious) and more importantly is that the LACK “of proper oversight and transparency nearly led to the collapse of the financial markets and a full-scale Depression.”

    Nothing about the government screwing up the housing market, or the used car market, or the financial markets, nope. It’s all just a failure of due to lack of enough regulation and oversight.

    Why did he even write this editorial? It’s as hollow as a tree stump.

    1. What we need is total regulation. Because a lot of regulation is apparently not enough.

      What is it with all of these total bullshit memes from the left? The idea that financial services was some Wild West of unregulated behavior is laughable. I was paid good money for years as a regulatory expert in banking. The number of regulations and laws you have to deal with in that industry, not to mention hoops created by regulators without blackletter justification, is simply staggering.

      1. What is it with all of these total bullshit memes from the left?

        When all your ideas are shown to be utter failures, one must deflect the blame to other actors in order to keep operating.

        1. I guess.

          And Somalia!

      2. Just because there were a lot of regulations doesn’t mean there were adequate regulations. It’s actually patently obvious that there weren’t.

        I will go so far as to absolve the banks of blame, since they were just doing their job: making as much money as they could, in whatever legal way they could. You can’t expect a corporate profits-generating machine to look into the future or plan for systemic risk. That’s what regulation is for. So government is to blame. It didn’t regulate the financial sector well enough.

        I recommend All the Devils Are Here by Nocera and McLean for the nitty gritty of the causes of the financial crisis.

        1. Just because there were a lot of regulations doesn’t mean there were adequate regulations.

          Not necessarily, it could mean that those whose job it was to enforce said regulations did not properly enforce the law.

          It’s actually patently obvious that there weren’t.

          It’s patently obvious that the law was broken thousands of times, particularly in regards to the mortgage underwriting business. This isn’t a failure of the regulations, it’s a failure in enforcment of the law.

          1. That’s true. But apart from violating underwriting standards, institutions dealt in a really insane world of exotic instruments that, as far as I know, weren’t adequately governed by statute. Not only did this evolution motivate making the bad loans, it pretty much undermined the entire point of having a financial sector.

            1. Of course, one fundamental flaw in the “need better regulations” theory is that regulators have the slightest clue about what they’re regulating. In banking, they most certainly didn’t and don’t, by and large.

              1. There were a few people in banks and in government who advocated for stricter government oversight of the relevant financial markets, and who saw what was coming. The problem is so much money was being made in the short term that nobody wanted to act on the advice.

        2. Just because there were a lot of regulations doesn’t mean there were adequate regulations. It’s actually patently obvious that there weren’t.

          Well, clearly the regs we had were the wrong ones, anyway.

          Leaving open the question of whether the solution is:

          (a) More of what we got wrong the first time, or

          (b) Less of what we got wrong the first time.

  4. The show’s been all downhill since Jim Varney died.

  5. Bit of a threadjack, but are we blaming this on Palin, too?

    Just want my story straight so I, too, can help create the narrative.

    1. If you were walking in a crowd, and a guy bumped into you without saying “Excuse me”, that sad event would be a direct result of the climate of violent incivility created by Sarah Palin. As she set out in her bestselling book, Why Don’t You Go Shoot Someone?

      1. And don’t forget the fact that the bumping into that person was caused by global warming’s deleterious effects.

        1. I was shoved into a wall once by a butterfly flapping its wings in Borneo. The butterfly was only alive due to AGW.

          1. I thought it was due to lack of gov’t oversight.

            1. The unregulated flapping of wings is another sad commentary on too much libertarianism.

      2. “As she set out in her bestselling book, Why Don’t You Go Shoot Someone?”


        1. I downloaded it to my Kindle yesterday. It’s printed in an angry typeface.

          1. I needed a laugh, thanks. The book title wasn’t enough to produce LOL, it took your little extra bit. It’s the timing.

            1. I confess–the title was just a cheap excuse for making the typeface joke.

              1. Hmmm…you get to be your own setup man here. Sort of changes the balance between comedian and…I dunno.

    2. Assume yes, until told otherwise.

  6. Only violent rhetoric from the right causes these kinds of rampage attacks.

    1. What we need is for Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh to start a rap metal band. Then anything and everything can be blamed on them.

      1. A rap metal band that makes violent video games and sells guns. THEN everything could be blamed on them.

        1. Plus Limbaugh is a recovering prescription drug addict, and I think Palin may have inhaled, so, you know, drugs!

  7. Clearly, the only solution is to give more money and power to the teachers’ unions. Only they can make our schools safe.

    1. I wonder what would happen to the left’s love of gun control if teachers were armed?

      1. If it’s was only wise and impeccably trustworthy union members, they wouldn’t make a peep. It’s only backwoods Rethugulians like me and you that shouldn’t have guns, after all.

        1. *it’s was* I hate Tuesday.

          1. It’s practically Monday.

            1. It feels like a Monday, i.e. squishy and over-long.

              1. I feel a definite Mondayesque level of productivity.

  8. How is this possible in a gun-free zone? How? How?!!

    1. The force fields must have failed. Goddamn those money-grubbing force-field corporashuns! If only they would switch to green power!

    2. Plus its California! Don’t they have enlightened gun laws? Or have the rednecks in the interior managed to stalemate the loony coast? Is this kid an immigrant from Arizona?

  9. Obama is merely doing what he’s always done.

    Spew some rhetoric that sounds like it’s something other than radical liberalism to try and fool people into thinking he’s not actually doing what he’s doing.

    Which is to push the country as far to the left as he thinks is possible as fast as he thinks is possible.

    All the shennanings his apparatchiks at the EPA, HHS, NLRB, FERC, FCC, Interior dept, etc. etc. are doing is directly condradictory to the noises emitting from his pie hole today.

    1. In other words, you’re blaming him for not being a Republican.

      From another perspective, he’s just pushing the country back (ever so slightly) from the lurch rightward it had been taking for 30 years.

      1. No I’m blaming him for being a lying socialist twit.

        Because that’s what he is.

      2. I rather think he’s ensuring that we’ll move even further rightward.

  10. Threadjack jacking

    SoCons are boycotting CPAC over GOProud.


    The ghost of Barry Goldwater is smiling somwhere.

    1. Good. Maybe the FiCons have a chance of doing something that resembles an actual cut in spending.

      1. Fingerlickans?

    2. If the Refaglicans can run off the SoCons, I might just switch teams myself.

      1. You’ll turn straight?

  11. Maybe the REINS act has him worried.

  12. “[S]kepticism about President Barack Obama’s executive order to re-examine federal regulations”

    People need government to regulate them because, left to their own devices (i.e unregulated), they would act chaotically. Government is populated by persons chosen by the same people that require regulation, and the chosen ones will be regulated by the people that need regulating, at the same time being regulated by their chosen. Got that?

    The above is part of the “Why we need government” argument wielded by statists.

  13. Looks like Obama is preempting Republicans here. They want to do away with as many regulations as possible. Now it’s possible he’ll get to define the terms, even though he’s pissing off a lot of liberals by even acknowledging that regulations can stifle growth.

    1. In that case, those liberals are fucking morons.

    2. Now it’s possible he’ll get to define the terms

      If by “define the terms” you mean “give speeches and do nothing substantive,” then I couldn’t agree with you more.

  14. So we are going to ‘re-examine’ federal regulations first?

    There is not even 1 regulation that can be done away with today?

    The President’s sentiment is nice. I am assuming it is genuine, for the sake of discussion, but the President needs to show me some results.

    1. If they save even 1 life, they’re worth it. Stop putting profits before people.

  15. So, I saw the Video.

    However, I do feel that we need regulations. And, to “NOT do SOMETHING” due to abuse would mean that we do NOTHING.

    I guess what makes me NOT a libertarian is the fact that I don’t want to be re-active. I don’t want is situation that due to the LACK of regulations i get hurt and my only recourse is to take the crook to court.

    I’d rather have the EPA in tact making sure that we are NOT poisoned, for example. Most people on this site that are Libertarian would argue that it’s best to have no regulations and just take them to court AFTER I GET CANCER.

    I just simply disagree. I want regulations…even though there’s a window of abuse. I’d rather have them than NOT have them.

    However, I do agree with Mr. Welch on this CHINA thing with TOYS. The regulation pretty much ran almost every small US Toy manufacturer out of business and EXEMPTS CHINA…the ones with the LED in the TOYS.

    This is part of the corruption that goes on which I would like regulations for. That is, NOBODY is exempt.

    1. So you watched the video, but refused to learn anything from it? That’s not surprising.

    2. So you don’t understand why punishing someone who hasn’t harmed you is wrong?

    3. You people are crazy.

      Especially the ‘So I don’t understand why punishing someone who hasn’t harmed you is wrong.”

      Perhaps its best that we get rid of all bank regulations (including fraud) so that we don’t punish those ‘honest banks’.

      I know u guys have no respect for me or anyone that is not libertarian on this topic but Please remember one thing: before there were regulations, there existed an unregulated free market in where dis-honest and shaddy businessmen (bank, insurance, etc.) And, once they did something ‘not-so-nice’ and due to numerous consumer complaints, we end up with regulations.

      1. Brilliant. I can tell you are a real expert on this subject: “Deh evil banks did sumthing bad and den duh guvernment punished them wit regulations.”

      2. Even if we take your childish, simplistic, and baseless view of financial history as true, your reasoning still makes no sense. A bank in the past defrauded its clients. Therefore we will punish every bank. The Nazis killed millions, we should put all of today’s Germans in jail just in case they start feeling anti-semitic.

  16. “This is a private video…”


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