I've been reading the sturm und drang here about chess v. sell-out, Krugman's kinda sorta OK, etc. But I reserved final judgment until getting the definitive word from on high:
David Brooks Hates it. Therefore it's a good deal.Today's column by the terminally smug pundit is titled: Another Fiscal Flop.
Brooks starts with his central faulty premise:
Over the course of the 20th century, America built its welfare state. It was, by and large, a great achievement, expanding opportunity and security for millions. Unfortunately, as the population aged and health care costs surged, it became unaffordable.Yes, David, it's "unaffordable," just as your cohort said abolishing child labor was "unaffordable" in 1905, Social Security was "unaffordable" in 1935 and Medicare was "unaffordable" in 1965. But somehow, massive tax cuts for the wealthy were "affordable" in 2001 and 2003 and wars you championed were "affordable" in 2001 and 2003.
Why, David, here's what you said in 2001 about Democratic concerns about the tax cuts:
The Democratic party proceeded to work itself up into a collective aneurysm. Dick Gephardt—who, when given the chance to play the demagogue, never goes halfway—said that the United States now faces "an alarming fiscal crisis." Democratic national chairman Terry McAuliffe said on Face the Nation that it had taken Bill Clinton eight years to build up the surplus, but Bush was able to "blow it in eight months." Other Democrats rose up en masse to declare that the Bush administration was going to bankrupt Social Security/the federal government/western civilization because the administration was going to have to "raid the Social Security trust fund."Not only was the welfare state "affordable" in 2001, it was affordable with massive tax cuts for the wealthy piled on top of it!
Thanks for clarifying things, David!
It's a good deal!
(h/t Driftglass for the 2001 quote.