Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Conservatives against entrenchment

Talking political rather than legal entrenchment, of course: (1) Liam Fox:
[UK] Defence Secretary Liam Fox has challenged a plan to enshrine in law the UK's promise to spend 0.7% of its gross national income on overseas aid. In a letter leaked to the Times, Dr Fox says he "cannot support the proposal in its current form". A source close to Dr Fox said the issue was not the level of the target but how best to reflect this in law. Downing Street said it remained fully committed to implementing its pledge in line with the coalition agreement. [...] The defence secretary said that "creating a statutory requirement to spend 0.7%" on overseas aid could lead to legal challenges and limit the government's options on where money was spent. International aid is one of only a handful of areas, including health spending in England, being ringfenced from spending cuts over the next four years. Most other departments are seeing their budgets slashed - defence spending by 8% by 2015. [...]
- "Liam Fox challenges government overseas aid pledge", BBC News (17 May 2011) (2) Mark Steyn:
[...] "Entitlements" are unrepublican: They are contemptuous of the most basic principle of responsible government — that a parliament cannot bind its successor. Which is what entitlements do, to catastrophic effect. [...] "Entitlement commitments are not debts," wrote John Hinderaker of the blog Powerline. "Congress can wipe them out simply by repealing Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid." That’s technically true in the same sense that it’s technically true Congress can wipe out a lot of our debts — or at any rate our debtors — by nuking Beijing. But is either likely to happen under any scenario this side of total societal meltdown? Indeed, I find it easier to imagine economic collapse, secession, civil war, Mad Max on I-95, cannibal gangs of the undocumented preying on gated communities of upscale gays, etc, than any combination of House, Senate, and president "repealing Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid." [...]
- "Entitlement Sense," National Review (17 May 2011)