Matt Welch on ObamaCare, the Euro-Zone Deal, and the Slow Drip of Pain Avoidance

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If there was any recent political decision more opaque than Supreme Court Justice John Roberts' tortured-if-fascinating majority decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, it might be German Chancellor Angela Merkel's sign-off Friday on a 120-billion Euro "growth pact" that will effectively insulate Italy and Spain from their own high borrowing costs by injecting money directly into their banks from a new European bailout fund. As Reuters delicately phrased it, "Agreed in Brussels, the details of how this new authority will work, what powers it will have and which banks it will supervise remain murky." As Matt Welch observes, these two compromises share an enormous commonality: They both find a way to ratify the status quo in favor of statism, while putting off the hard decisions that are being foisted upon policymakers by the nonpartisan cruelty of welfare-state mathematics.

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