Kevin Williamson

Renegade Rancher Cliven Bundy Is Nothing Like Mahatma Gandhi
April 16, 2014

Gandhi led a fight for basic rights. Bundy wants his cattle to be able to graze on government land.

Stuff White People Like
November 12, 2012

Republicans say Obama won by promising "free stuff." But who was the real panderer in this election?

Is This Election Killing Political Satire? Ask Nicki Minaj
September 04, 2012

Have we become unable to appreciate a good political joke coming from anyone but Jon Stewart?

Why Right-Wing Anti-Science Matters
August 25, 2011

Mitt Romney used to unequivocally believe that the world is warming: "I believe that climate change is occurring — the reduction in the size of global ice caps is hard to ignore." Now straightforward climate science skeptic Rick Perry has overtaken him, and Romney is less sure: "Do I think the world's getting hotter? Yeah, I don't know that but I think that it is." This hedge is worth pondering in light of a debate I've participated in over science, empiricism and climate change.

Rick Perry, Science And Empiricism
August 24, 2011

National Review's Kevin Williamson has a post, responding to me, entitled, "What Does Jonathan Chait Know about Science?": Scientific disputes are highly specialized, and meaningful participation in them requires a great deal of non-generalist knowledge. I’m generally skeptical of argument from credential, but there’s a time for it. For instance, a great number of scientists have a particular view of global warming. Richard Lindzen has reservations about that view. Professor Lindzen is an atmospheric physicist a full-on professor at MIT.

Rick Perry, Science, Left And Right
August 23, 2011

National Review's Kevin Williamson argues that nobody should care what Rick Perry or any other elected official thinks about science: Why would anybody ask a politician about his views on a scientific question? Nobody ever asks what Sarah Palin thinks about dark matter, or what John Boehner thinks about quantum entanglement.

How Much Tax Do The Rich Pay?
March 14, 2011

Kevin Williamson has a column for National Review arguing against the proposition that we should eliminate the budget deficit entirely by taxing the rich -- a proposition held by nobody of any consequence. Part of Williamson's argument is that the rich already pay close to 50% of their income in taxes already ("Most of them are making $250,000 to $450,000 and paying about half in taxes already.") Robert VerBruggen echoes Williamson's point ("the other half is already taken in federal and local taxes.") Are the rich really paying half their income in federal, state and local taxes?

Union vs. Business Power, Cont'd
March 01, 2011

In an exchange with National Review's Kevin Williamson over the power of unions, I wrote a post yesterday laying out several reasons why public unions are not uniquely powerful. One of those reasons was that business massively outspends labor ob both lobbying and electioneering. Williamson replies, focusing only on that one point, and making this strange response: Jonathan Chait writes that unions are paltry players compared to the big, bad business lobby when it comes to buying influence in Washington and state capitols. Here are the ten largest donors in U.S.

How Powerful Are Public Unions?
February 28, 2011

The Battle of Wisconsin has created a meta-debate over political economy. Liberals argue that public unions, though often advancing bad public policies, help offset corporate power. Conservatives, by contrast, view public unions as operating within their own sphere, in which they reign all powerful. National Review's Kevin Williamson heps scorn on liberals who see public unions as working in opposition to business interests: The big money and the unions already are on the same side: The unions are the big money; theyare the oligarchy.

Everything's Subsidized in Texas
January 24, 2011

For several years now, Texas has been the conservative model for responsibly budgeting by avoiding "big government." Here's Kevin Williamson: Governor [Rick] Perry sums up the Texas model in five words: “Don’t spend all the money.” Here’s what a good long run of small-government, low-tax conservatism has achieved in Texas: Once a largely agricultural state, Texas today is home to 6 of the 25 largest cities in the country, more than any other state.