Wednesday, February 16, 2011

You Must Learn

Great short post from Matt Yglesias this morning about new Senate deficit hawk Chris Coons, and how he doesn't seem to understand some basic facts about deficits and debt.

Of course, it's also possible that Coons completely understands the issue, but that he sees it as a quick way to being Taken Seriously by the sorts of people who write editorials for newspapers, who are more or less unanimously in favor of balanced budgets, even if they're not exactly sure why. But I don't know; it very well could be that Coons believes that, say, if the budget isn't balanced now that the next generations will have to pay it back. If so, that's a real failure of the Democratic Party policy network, which should be busy educating new Senators (and the staffs of new Senators) basic facts about federal budgets.


  1. What exactly are the Party's "policy networks"? Besides think tanks, is it also lobbyists? And when was the last time they worked properly? It seems to me that one of the most important stories of the Obama years so far is that the lack of economic knowledge of centrist Democrats in Congress has severely hurt them politically. I don't think this happened during the Clinton years, or to the Republicans during the Bush years. So what accounts for the failure of the wonks to educate political elites?

  2. It could also just be that when he says "tackling the debt" he means reducing it in nominal terms. Not that that's necessarily any smarter.


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