How to Argue As Tendentiously As Possible - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
How to Argue As Tendentiously As Possible

Matthew Yglesias offers a primer, using an unfortunate Irving Kristol quote unearthed by Brad DeLong as a jumping-off point: “The presence of a major ideological movement in the United States of America dedicated to the dual propositions that taxes must never go up, and that government expenditures don’t need to relate to government revenue in any real way as long as the Republican Party is in charge simply makes it almost impossible for the country to be governed in a responsible manner.”

Well. Certainly Republicans deserve criticism for increasingly substituting borrow-and-spend economics for the Democrats’ tax-and-spend economics. But one might at least point out that the national debt declined as a percentage of GDP under Clinton without returning to pre-Reagan tax rates. Or that Barack Obama explicitly promised to reduce federal revenues “to below the levels that prevailed under Ronald Reagan” while increasing federal spending. Or that the economic picture looked quite a bit different after the policy mix intended to whip stagflation went into effect, a mix that included Reagan’s tax cuts.

The political class’ “rather cavalier attitude toward the budget deficit and other monetary or fiscal problems” has been bipartisan and transideological. So has been the realization that at least some of the basic observations of supply-side economics are sound.

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