A Comment to David Sirota
While few would mistake Norquist for anything other than an opportunist who uses the worn out cry for "tax relief" as an excuse to eviscerate the federal government of its capacity to function as anything other than a military and law enforcement agency serving the wealthy and powerful, David Sirota offers little more from an opposing ideological base. Watching the two of them argue economics principles was downright painful for me, an economist who has little patience for stupidity of any political stripe.
Sirota's article quoting a detractor's e-mail message was something of an exercise in running home to tell one's family about what a mean bully had said. Sadly, the e-mail message Sirota received, although relatively well written, really was little more than a bully's mean words. Sirota's subtext was that this critic's lack of specifics somehow establishes the superiority of Sirota's own economic analysis.
Of course, it does not, and I wanted to say as much in the comments section for Sirota's article. Unfortunately, I could not. When I was writing as a harsh critic of the Bush Administration, I was a registered commenter in good standing at Campaign for America's Future. Sometime over the course of the past few months, I lost my good standing there. Perhaps it was a technical matter, although I received no response when I requested a resolution of the login problem.
It is better, though, that my message to David Sirota be published here, anyway. While Mr. Sirota would certainly not read, much less benefit from, my comment to him, the content of the message is intended for a much larger audience, particularly those who continue to support the policies of President-elect Barack Obama even as he lays in a presidential administration laced with troubling appointments and Bush hold-overs, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, FBI Director Robert Mueller, Attorney General Eric Holder, Middle East adviser Dennis Ross, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, to name just a few of his neo-cons, has-beens, and otherwise unseemly choices.
Without further belaboring in preface this or that minor aside, the following is my comment to David Sirota on his article of November 25, 2008, published at Campaign for America's Future.
Good evening, Mr. Sirota.
Yes, the gentleman who wrote to you was certainly thin on details concerning why your analysis contained "absurd comments," but that does nothing to establish your credentials as someone well enough informed about economics to be pontificating about marginal tax rates (or much of anything else in theoretical economics, for that matter).
You really do not have sufficient formal training in economics to inform your representations about economic matters. You are, as that writer noted, a political hack, a propagandist just like those who endlessly touted the absurdly wrong economics of the Bush Administration. Truth be told, you strike me as the kind of student I see in my econ classes until right around the week of the first exam, when those who cannot cut the rigor beat a hasty path to the drop window at the registrar's office before heading over to hang out with their equally dull friends at the campus coffee house to talk about how much more they know than their profs.
That's harsh, isn't it? You're a flak for an incoming President who's getting way too much slack cut for him by the mainstream media, which has for the past eight years magnificently demonstrated what happens when journalists cut Presidents way too much slack.
Fair is fair, however: the so-called conservatives had their opportunity to wreck the economy, and they did so with the all the efficiency and every bit of the grace of a hail of cluster bombs; now, it is the turn of the liberals to further imperil the long-term stability of the American economy, although my hope that Democrats would be innovative in their approach has been taken asunder. I am now convinced that President-elect Obama will do just what his predecessor did: he will spend money like there's no tomorrow, and it will be money we simply do not have. Just like the Republicans during the reign of George W. Bush, the Democrats will borrow from foreigners, and what they cannot raise through external debt they will acquire through accommodative monetary policy pursued by the Federal Reserve. ("Accommodative monetary policy," by the way, is a fancy means of saying that the Federal Reserve will simply print money and use it to buy government debt at the regular auctions held by the United States Treasury.)
This is exactly what the Bush Administration did, and it has led to disaster. Barack Obama will do the same thing, except that the federal budget deficits his Congresses will run are going to make those of the Bush era look pale by comparison.
Moreover, the same promises of tax cuts as far as the eye can see that propelled Bush's overall economic policy implosion are right there on Mr. Obama's table of solutions that pander to the greed of this or that constituency. For Republicans, it has always been the wealthy to whom the tax cut song must be howled; for Democrats, it has been the so-called "middle class" and "working poor" who were one campaign after another's intended audience. Same product, different target market. Same results, too: underfunded government that will have to rely on huge trade deficits to accumulate greenbacks in foreign central banks that will then lend those dollars back to the fiscally reckless leaders in Washington who do not know how to control themselves when it comes to either taxation policies or spending priorities.
Candy for everyone; and what the Chinese, the Arabs, the Japanese, and other lenders cannot cover, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke will, just like he did for the Bush Administration. In the end, that massive overhang of money that continues to grow far in excess of the real growth rate of the economy will lead to one and only one end: inflation. And it will not be some mild little rise in the aggregate price level; it will instead be a raging fire that will take an ever more draconian contractionary monetary policy regime to rectify the longer the irresponsible over-printing of money continues.
Rock-solid economics training really does matter. I deal in it every day as a college teacher. I cannot let fantasies, hopes, wishes, ideology, and philosophy stand in the stead of applying the well-understood principles of economics to the problems, proposals, and policies of any given President, political party, or era. It is because I have no stake in the sentimentalities of politics that I can state with a fair degree of objectivity that George W. Bush has been the worst President in American history, bar none, and his economic policies have been what I described in no uncertain terms as "The Economics of Wreckage" in my series by that title.
However, until President-elect Obama stops talking the same language of Keynesian economics gone wild, he will garner no more favorable coverage by me than did his failed predecessor.
I shall leave trust in a new President's judgment to those who cannot see past their party affiliation; I shall leave fantasy economics to poli-sci and journalism majors of the Right and the Left; and I shall certainly leave reserve in judgment and understatement in tone about a new President's economics policies to those who still think the American experience may continue with platitudes, promises, and money we have not earned and very likely do not deserve.
Now, let me quickly address one more matter. During the time when my analytical articles and editorials were taking sharp, harsh, and unrelenting aim at Republicans, I got my fair share of hateful, often irrational, e-mail messages from extremist, disturbed thugs on the Right, and I even took a few shots from Right-wingers on blogs. Ever since I turned my analytical attention to Mr. Obama, I have enjoyed the equally low viciousness that underlies the "Hope and Change" rhetoric of Obama's Leftist supporters. Whereas the Right-wingers use a rather eclectic assemblage of nonsense words for name-calling, the Obamabots are pretty much stuck on the word "racist" to describe anyone who does not crawl with sufficient fealty to their messiah. I certainly did not support John McCain, but because I did not have any more use for Barack Obama, I was a racist. I lost a few Leftist friends who could not bring themselves to stand up to their fellow Leftists who spewed venomous hate. I must stipulate, however, that those fellow bloggers chose correctly: silly claims to the contrary notwithstanding, far more battles will be won in alliance with a violent mob than with a lone dissenter.
To be quite honest with you, Mr. Sirota, my concern with the Right-wingers has always been that I consider them generally at least somewhat informed about quality firearms; my concern with Leftists is more along the lines that I fear they will go tell their mommy Democrats in Washington, who will then, instead of seeing to it that dozens of Bush Administration officials go to prison, propose another bonanza of "economic stimulus" just to make that pain radiate down my left arm again.
On the other hand, maybe Mr. Obama really would send some of his friends from Chicago to kick my butt. At four feet eleven inches, Obama's thuggish chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, probably couldn't reach much higher even with his best Zionist cheerleader kick.
I think I'm going to like the Obama era. I can use the same economics principles to accurately predict the disaster of the new President's policies, and I have a whole new crowd of knuckle-draggers to infuriate. Not that I've given up entirely on the Right-wing authoritarian followers, mind you; it's just that Obama apologists like you, Mr. Sirota, are just so darned worthy of disrespect, especially when you get that smirk of superiority as you talk about economics with ignorance every bit as thunderous as that of Mr. Bush and his cabal of imbeciles.
Be well, Mr. Sirota.
The Dark Wraith will be seeing you around the Internets.
Wrote Dark Wraith:
Wrote Dark Wraith:
Wrote Wild Clover:
Wrote Peter of Lone Tree:
Wrote Dark Wraith:
Become a Registered Commenter