Sunday, April 10, 2011

Welcome to 1937

I've always wanted to live in the UK, but after the budget deal, it looks like a little piece of England is coming to me instead.

Anyway. I don't have much to say about this austerity nonsense, except that it is nonsense, that the people with the highest and broadest stakes in economic performance know as much and have said as much, and that it's astounding that our country's economic policy is being directed in accordance with an archaic, half-debunked economic worldview that few -- including few Republicans, circa five years ago -- actually believe. But as ever, Republican policy is dictated primarily by the political necessity of providing a dramatic alternative to Democratic priorities, so when the Democrats take a stand on the sky being blue, Republicans are forced to seek out and embrace whichever crank is contending otherwise. See also: climate change.

And as ever, Obama refuses to give a speech in which he acknowledges that he might end up on the losing side of policy fight. We're left with the appalling and bizarre spectacle of the President lauding Congress for enacting eighty billion dollars of cuts to his own proposed budget.

So here we are, watching our political class unanimously embrace a means that most of it knows will never reach the desired end. Guess what, though? When the car is being steered into a wall, you can't make the passengers like you better by cheering on the driver.

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