Thursday, January 13, 2011

Credit Where Due

Mark Thoma catches Wolf Blitzer actually asking the tough questions! Blitzer tries to pin Governor Mitch Daniels (R-IN) on the fact that Republicans pay lip service to the deficit, but when in office, do significantly damage to the country's fiscal position. Indeed, Blizter Daniels was director of the OMB under George W. Bush. Historically, the OMB director is the chief voice of fiscal responsibility within the executive branch. The OMB tries to provide pushback to political actors, whose instinct is frequently to enact policies without worrying about their impact on the deficit. But when Daniels held this position, he folded like a house of cards. The Governor tries to blame the Bush-era deficit on the post-bubble recession and other factors, but simple arithmetic shows that Bush's deficit-increasing tax cuts, deficit-increasing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and deficit-increasing Medicare part D are much larger contributors than any recession. He also tries to place bipartisan blame on Congress, but of course Republicans controlled congress for most of the Bush era of deficit explosion. The evidence shows that elected Republicans don't care about the deficit.

Props to the beard on this one. And more like this, please.
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