John Stossel

But the Census Bureau says the percentage of families living below the poverty line fell from 11 percent in 1996 to 9.8 percent in 2006. The percentage of single mothers below the poverty line fell from 32.6 percent in 1996 to 28.3 in 2006. That looks like progress to me.

But Huffington had this retort: "The fact that we used to live in caves is not a justification for the state of affairs right now."

Like most liberals, she believes America needs more regulation. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) should be strengthened to protect workers.

I tried to acquaint her with the facts. While it's true that since OSHA started, deadly job accidents have dropped, the truth is, deaths were dropping before OSHA. Between the late 1930s and 1971, job fatalities fell from more than 40 to fewer than 20 per 100,000 workers. After OSHA was passed, fatalities continued to fall, but no faster than before. It's misleading to credit regulation for the improvement. Government gets in front of a parade and pretends to lead it.

Huffington's reply: "If you were the husband of one of the women who died recently because OSHA regulations were not sufficiently implemented, you would not be so cavalier about the speed at which things get better."

As if the government could guarantee zero job deaths.

Huffington has also joined the war on global warming. "We have two Priuses," she says.

I pointed out that she also has a $7-million house that burns more carbon than a hundred people in the Third World. She said:

"There is no question that the fact that I'm living in a big house, I occasionally travel on private planes -- all those things are contradictions. I'm not setting myself up as some paragon who only goes around on a bicycle."

That honesty is a relief. If only she and others would own up to the other contradictions in the Left's call for endlessly intrusive government.


John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at >johnstossel.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. ©Creators Syndicate