Sunday, October 12, 2008

Broder, the Official Pundit Rules, and Neo-Hooverism

Broder says that when Obama becomes President, his advisors will surely tell him that he must rein in his preferred programs on account of the huge deficits created by the bailout, and the Blue Dogs will fight for 'pay as you go' rules. Needless to say, Broder doesn't mention the Pentagon's upcoming proposal to increase defense spending by $450 billion over the next 5 years, but then, as others (I'd link if I could remember who) have reminded us lately, defense spending never counts as real spending with these clowns: health care for children has to be paid for, but wars and fighter jets don't.

Brian Beutler says, "Somewhere, buried deep in the stacks of the research library at NBC headquarters is a book of bylaws for American punditry, and one of those bylaws holds that a successful pundit must try--whenever possible, and for reasons unclear--to box politicians into the position of opposing desperately needed entitlement programs and other deficit spending." I'd add the words "non-military" before "deficit spending," and Dean Broder surely writes the bylaws, but other than that, he's nailed it.

And, in keeping with those bylaws, Broder doesn't even consider the prospect of Keynesian countercyclical spending to minimize the effects of the recession we're surely headed into. As Matt points out, this is no time for neo-Hooverism. The pundit class really has no grasp of economics. Lord knows I'm not an economist, but even I understand that much. Along those lines, Moody's has a nice chart rating the bang for the buck that different countercyclical measures would create, which Matt posts here.

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