Michael Kinsley, as usual, says it best. Enjoy – Bill Bennett one more time. (Or, as Harry Mark put it to me in an e-mail: ‘Years ago, as DRUG CZAR, Bennett laughingly dismissed his three-pack-a-day nicotine addiction as no big deal. He also looks like he doesn’t miss too many meals. And he peddles moral hooey at $50K a pop to enable a gambling problem. Virtue? Self-control?’)
Greg Palast says it most urgently. Be troubled – could the right wing be as bad as he says? It seems so ungentlemanly to suggest the things he does. We’d rather not think any of these things. But if you read Blinded By the Right – David Brock’s apology for the rightwing conspiracy he was a central player in – it’s no great stretch to credit the deeply troubling allegations in Palast’s book, too.
John Snow, our Treasury Secretary, says it most spuriously – all over the Sunday morning talk shows yesterday. Be bearish. I have no transcript to link you to, but here’s what he says: What we need is the biggest possible tax cut, on top of the gigantic 2001 tax cut we already enacted. And no, we shouldn’t be worried about the giant budget deficit. That is something he used to decry. Not now. Now it’s imperative to give multi-millionaires a big tax cut – and average folks, little or nothing – because these multi-millionaires will go out and buy the refrigerators, SUV’s and gardening equipment they’ve been dreaming of but couldn’t afford … and that will spur demand and create jobs.
(You know, you can blame our weak economy on business cycles, if that’s what you believe – but on whom do you blame our weak Treasury Secretaries?)
Paul Krugman says it over and over again – and thank heavens he does. Even Tim Russert seems finally to be listening. Krugman gets the last word.
PS – Between Kinsley, Palast and Krugman, this is three columns in one, even if I didn’t write any of them. My contract calls for me to take tomorrow off.
Quote of the Day
A veteran Massachusetts politician not so long ago was horrified at the conduct of a less savvy colleague who was indicted for bribery: 'Imagine taking money from a stranger.'~Wall Street Journal, 10/14/93
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