Hyper-statist president: I aim for a "light touch" when it comes to government

“I think the irony … is that I actually would like to see a relatively light touch when it comes to the government,” he said Tuesday in a White House interview.

It is a counterintuitive case to make when his government is a majority shareholder of General Motors, and when he will propose Wednesday new oversight of big financial institutions, new capital requirements for banks and a new consumer-protection agency for small investors…

“On a whole host of these issues, we want to do the minimum possible to assure that every stakeholder in the marketplace — consumers, workers, investors, entrepreneurs — have a clear set of rules of the road, they know what they’re getting themselves into, they’re making decisions based on the pursuit of profits,” he said. “But we are not setting up so few rules that you have the kind of situation that we saw last year where we really were on the verge of a financial meltdown.”