David Leonhardt, Please Shut Up

5:51 pm in Bowles-Simpson Proposal, Catfood Commission by Rotwang

Compañeros, I have a dream today. No it’s not the dream where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers . . . I have that dream too, but today’s is different. In this dream, Obama’s deficit commission, the Pew-Peterson Commission, Erskine Bowles, Alan Simpson, Peter Orszag, Alice Rivlin, Peter Peterson, and David Walker are cast into the middle of Redskins Park, surrounded by a thousand eager flesh-eating zombies.

For the love of the sweet baby Jesus, I beg you all to not get embroiled in the bankrupt pastime of figuring out how to balance the budget. That is what all the very serious people, the economic royalists of The Washington Post (“If you don’t get it, you’ve got a quarter!”), the ignorant television talking heads, and now a parade of bankrupt commentators and commissions would have us do. This is the ultimate sucker’s game.

There should be no doubt that austerity — tax increases and spending cuts — would make the current awful employment situation appreciably worse. This is frankly acknowledged by deficit hawks, who are nothing if not cagey. Nevertheless, they would immerse us in discussions of austerity, in the middle of the worst employment crisis of the past thirty years.   . . . Read the rest of this entry →