Friday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from James Pethokoukis, WSJ, Gavin Newsom, and more.

Jordan Candler · Apr. 3, 2020

Insight: “A people who mean to be free must be prepared to meet danger in person, and not rely upon the fallacious protection of armies.” —Edmund Randolph (1753-1813)

Upright: “Washington is spending like never before in the national fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Deficit hawks are as hard to find as toilet paper — even in the supposedly debt-averse GOP. … Few experts would … counter the idea that the nation needs a big upgrade — though maybe not $2 trillion worth — to its roads and bridge, as well as better digital infrastructure. Just not now, OK?” —James Pethokoukis

Observations: “Governments right now are not deciding whether to do nothing or do something. Rather, they are confronting choices about which restrictions should be imposed, where they make sense, and how long they should be maintained. In this context, a simple binary choice between ‘intervention’ and ‘no intervention’ is highly misleading.” —Jacob Sullum

Economic ambiguity: “The Paycheck Protection Program pays businesses to maintain their labor demand, while Pandemic Unemployment Assistance pays workers to reduce their labor supply. How the two programs will interact is unclear.” —Samuel Hammond

For the record: “While most Americans under coronavirus lockdown are worrying about their jobs, their groceries, and their local doctors and nurses, congressional Democrats have other priorities. To wit, pin blame on the Trump Administration before the November election.” —The Wall Street Journal

Never let a crisis go to waste: “Absolutely we see this as an opportunity to reshape the way we do business and how we govern.” —Gov. Gavin Newsom

Epic lack of self-awareness: “Where there’s money there’s also frequently mischief. We want to make sure there are not exploiters out there.” —Inspector Clouseau Nancy Pelosi

Braying jackass: “I hope when the time for accountability comes, we can all remember that it didn’t have to be like this. Other countries responded to this pandemic with competence and they avoided the worst. Now, we’re bracing for an unimaginable tragedy and as we speak, the president is leaving besieged states and hospitals to fend for themselves, putting lives at risk.” —Seth Meyers

And last… “The question isn’t whether government has power. Government is power. The question is how and when to apply that power. And what we’ve seen is that government sucks at everything, even the most basic things it is supposed to do well.” —Ben Shapiro

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