"Some background: Economic liberalism has typically focused on using the government’s Treasury as a means to ends, whether those ends are better health care (Medicare/Medicaid), stronger job growth (tax credits) or more robust export businesses (corporate subsidies). The idea is that taxpayer dollars can help individuals afford bare necessities and entice institutions to support the common good.
Economic progressivism, by contrast, has historically trumpeted the government fiat as the best instrument of social change – think food safety, minimum wage and labor laws, and also post-Depression financial rules and enforcement agencies. Progressivism’s central theory is that government, as the nation’s supreme authority, can set parameters channeling capitalism’s profit motive into societal priorities – and preventing that profit motive from spinning out of control. "
"Liberalism sans progressivism–i.e., public money sans regulation–turns the Treasury into an unlimited gift card for whichever private interests are being sponsored. "
Not the reference to "private interests". This suggests that the traditional liberalism of our times is, essentially, controllable by corporations and the wealthy. Citizens United, anyone?