Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pennywise, Pound Feckless

I liked this Yglesias post on Obama rolling the Blue Dogs, but it seemed like he buried the lede a bit.

I'd like to see a whole post on the phenomenon of GOP and right-wing Dem "fiscal conservatism."

The plain fact is, for decades the people in US government with a reputation for fiscal conservatism (that is, the GOP and their righty-Dem pals like Ben Nelson) maintain that reputation by spending as much time as possible on television scolding Americans about why they cannot have useful, well-run government services because those programs cost too much money, despite the fact that most of the programs they say this about do not add anything significant to the deficit, either this year's budget or the budget 10 years from now.

Yet these same politicians are always, ALWAYS the ones arguing in favor of truly wasteful, budget busting spending - giant, failed wars whose purpose no one can explain, for example. They are always front and center telling us why we can't do anything to contain medical costs, despite the fact that our country wastes more money on unneeded administrative costs and unhelpful, mass-production medical treatments than most other countries spend on anything, period.

In short, "fiscal responsibility" in the modern media environment is a sham. The people who cultivate a reputation for it are con artists with big PR budgets. The people who really value fiscal conservatism - that is, real Democrats - know that it is but one of many important principles of governance, so they are not able to compete with the hucksters who pretend, when it's convenient to do so, that it is the most important thing in the goddamn universe.

Obama's right that the right path to fiscal health is a repair of the broken finance sytsem, a return to full employment, medical reform, and fewer giant failed wars whose purpose no one can explain.

If you do those things, there is no way to run a crippling deficit in the richest country in the world by spending too much money studying how much methane is released by cow farts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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