The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Stop Freaking Out

Mathew Yglesias is one of the blogoshere's most prominent Left-Wing voices. He is a strong advocate for big government, a staunch defender of everything Obama (except when Obama isn't left-wing enough), a harsh critic of any attempt to control spending or entitlements ... he is stereotypical. He is also not very bright.

In a recent video post on Ezra Klein's new site, Juice Vox, entitled (not surprisingly), "Stop Freaking Out About the Debt," this voice of the Left embarrasses himself (without realizing he has done so). He suggests that our national debt is $12.5 trillion, when in fact it's $17.3 trillion (what's $5 trillion to a big spender), he confuses deficits and debt, using the terms interchangeably, he makes the ridiculous statement that "after all, the federal government can never run out of money,"...  it goes on and on.

In a fully cited (I do not reproduce the links here) post in the conservative blog, Red State, Erick Erickson takes a rather harsh look at Yglesias:
He [Yglesias] thinks Joe Lieberman is a dumb Jewish politician; was shocked to discover Senators represent the states as opposed to populations; was unaware of a black conservative tradition; couldn’t understand why Miami didn’t expand westward (hint: a giant swamp); had no idea an incumbent President had been defeated in primaries (Jimmy Carter lost 13 primaries in 1980 to Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown); thought Bobby Jindal’s reputation for intelligence was just ethnic stereotyping; argued it was okay to lie about having kids; wanted to know why Egypt didn’t have a Parliamentary system as if it’d matter and, by the way, it already does have one; thinks there are too many banks [there are actually too few with power concentrated in the too-big-to fail giants]; thinks no banks have been chartered in 2013 even though banks were chartered in 2013; and the list goes on.
Yglesias has also suggested that stretching the truth (a.k.a. lying) is perfectly justified when debating ideas with the Right. He tweeted: "“Fighting dishonesty with dishonesty is sometimes the right thing for advocates to do, yes.”  Hmmm ... again, he's in synch with the Obama administration on that. 

But back to the national debt. Yglesias is joined by left wing economists such as Paul Krugman and Robert Reich who have argued that more spending and more debt are the right path. Strong advocates of the highly debatable Keynesian notion that the government can spend us out of a recession, they have argued that the frighteningly large 2009 stimulus ($800 billion) simply wasn't large enough. Following the well-established dictum that is used when progressive ideas fail—'all we have to do is spend even more money.' Both Krugman and Reich should know better, but are blinded by their big-spending, big government ideology.

My position on the debt has been oft-stated on the blog—it's dangerous, it's destructive, and it's getting worse. But I suspect that there are many senior advisors in the White House who agree with Yglesias. After all, we should all just stop freaking out about the debt, shouldn't we?

Following the sage words of that famous philospher of yore, Alfred E. Newman, the administration's position, along with Yglesias' can be stated in three words: "What? Me Worry?"