Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 8:04 pm

Dean Baker sums up our economic, political and journalistic problems in three short paragraphs

Baker:

Dana Milbank devoted his [Washington Post] column to the disenchantment of progressives with the current political situation. At one point he comments that “the still-lumbering economy has depressed President Obama’s supporters.”

While this is no doubt true, it is worth mentioning that just about all progressives said at the time that the stimulus would be inadequate to restore the economy to a healthy growth path. The collapse of the housing bubble destroyed close to $1.2 trillion in annual demand from construction and consumption. At its peak in 2009 and 2010 the stimulus only replaced about $300 billion in annual spending.

It is discouraging to see so many people suffering unnecessarily, but this outcome is exactly what our analysis predicted at the time. Unfortunately, having a track record of being right is not generally a factor in determining which views carry weight in Washington policy debates.

Somebody tell me again how the U.S. is a meritocracy. Or, as Driftglass famously observed:

Sunday, November 22, 2009 10:27 am

Dysfunctional

I’m not a huge fan of Washington Post writer Dana Milbank, but this piece of his on Saturday’s health-care reform debate and vote captures just how incredibly messed up the U.S. Senate is. “World’s greatest deliberative body,” my butt.

I guess my favorite part is where he gets Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu to claim that the additional $300 million in Medicaid funding for her state was “not the reason” for her “aye” vote. She had to say that, because if she didn’t, she’d be publicly admitting to taking a bribe. Fact is, I’m not sure how the arrangement doesn’t constitute bribery regardless of what she says.

That said, the vote never should have been this close in the first place. The arguments for this measure, flawed as it is, are compelling when it’s compared with the status quo and the nonexistent “alternatives” offered by the Republicans.

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