Thursday, July 31, 2014

WaPo Runs Review of Way-Out-Of-Paradigm Book

Charles Lane reviews Eugene Steuerle's new completely out of paradigm, deficit terrorism book. Lane is not stupid, he should know better than to write this garbage:

"This near-total loss of “fiscal freedom” is the theme of “Dead Men Ruling,” a short, superb new book by C. Eugene Steuerle, from which the above statistics derive; the title nicely expresses the fact that today’s lawmakers are tightly constrained by the accumulated, and seemingly unalterable, decisions of their predecessors. Government is not just out of their control; it’s beyond their control. 
Steuerle persuasively argues that the nation’s budget challenge is not simply a matter of deficits and debt, important as they are. 
Rather, the point is to restore a long-term balance between spending and revenue so that the federal government can invest in new priorities without further indebting an already dangerously indebted country. 
 Steuerle’s book is an effective riposte to those who would argue that fiscal concerns are overblown in light of recent progress against the deficit or that “deficit hawks” are just rationalizing mean-spirited “austerity” to punish the poor and elderly.
To the contrary, what Steuerle shows is that the issue is long-term fiscal sustainability, which would provide flexibility.  
A government that lives within its means would be freer to stimulate the economy during recessions or to devote more resources to the needs of poor children — as opposed to maintaining the current consumption of older middle- and upper-middle-class voters, which is the unstated but actual purpose of the status quo."
Blah, blah, blah. Complete garbage. I know WaPo doesn't exactly have the highest standards for economics reporting (H/T Dean Baker!), but this is just pathetic.  I often seriously wonder how some men can go through their entire careers working in fiscal policy and still be so damn ignorant. It is a lack of intellectual curiosity, capacity, or mixture of both? Unfortunately, all we can be sure of is it will be the poor and vulnerable, not the pundits, that will pay for this ignorance.

No comments: