The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Friday, September 23, 2005

EJ Dionne Calls It Like He Sees It

Or as Forest says, "Stupid is as stupid does."

Fiscal Policy: Why 'Stupid' Fits
By E. J. Dionne Jr. Friday, September 23, 2005; Page A23

But our current budget policies are built not on honest coherence but on incoherence or, even worse, a dishonest coherence. The president and members of Congress always insist that they are fiscal conservatives who believe in balanced budgets. Yet their actions bear no relationship to their words, and labels such as "conservative" have no connection to their policies. Our federal purse strings are in the hands of fiscal radicals.

I'd have much more respect for these guys if they just came out and said: "Look, we love deficit spending. That's why we waged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and cut taxes at the same time. It's why we'll talk about offsets for Katrina and Rita but never enact them, except maybe a few cuts in programs for the poor. All we really care about are passing tax cuts -- and popular spending programs that get us reelected so we can enact more tax cuts."

Not very politic, I'll grant you, but honest. Vice President Cheney came as close as anyone to this form of honesty when he spoke in support of the tax cuts on dividends shortly after the 2002 elections. His words, alas, came at a closed meeting. According to Ron Suskind's book "The Price of Loyalty," Cheney referred to the former president in insisting to his administration colleagues that "Reagan proved deficits don't matter" and that Republicans owed themselves more tax cuts. "We won the midterms," Cheney said. "This is our due."

Or maybe it's the rest of us who should be called stupid if we keep taking these guys at their word. Are we all so dazed that we'll keep believing them even after a hurricane has blown away their alibis?


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