You Can Safely Blame “Centrism” for Most of Our Fiscal Problems

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11 Responses

  1. Avatar Dan Miller says:

    “Our bleak fiscal outlook is mostly due to the Bush tax cuts, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the financial collapse.”

    Actually, I’m not sure this is true–if I recall correctly, it’s health care costs that cause most of the problem, at least in the longer term that we’re concerned with here.Report

    • Avatar Katherine in reply to Dan Miller says:

      The transition from the Clinton-era surpluses to the Bush-era deficits through 2007 can be largely accounted for by the reduction in revenues caused by Bush’s tax cuts and the spending increases caused by the two wars. If those two things hadn’t changed, the US would probably have maintained a surplus up until the economic crisis.Report

  2. Avatar Katherine says:

    Assuming words haven’t suddenly lost all meaning, it is literally impossible for an extremist fringe to constitute a supermajority. For that to happen, any given fringe would have to come in striking distance of a plurality, in which case, it wouldn’t actually be a fringe.

    In addition, a “far right” and “far left” are, by definition, reactionaries and radicals, and thus not in favour of the status quo, and certainly not in favour of the same status quo.Report

  3. Avatar zic says:


    I used to work for a Dept. of Welfare IT dept. Over and over the same thing. “We gotta help folks,” from the left. “But not too much” from the right. And so we stuck to the center; enough help that folks got stuck in poverty, not enough to lift them out.

    Great blogging, Jamelle. Sometimes, it’s time to push the center far enough out on a limb to try something new.Report

  4. Great post, Jamelle. Perhaps a few minor disagreements on the edges, but your thesis is dead on. WRT the economy – either we need to get spending under control, and stat, or we need to spend like mad (and, yes, pay for it with taxes). What we don’t need, absolutely don’t need, is to enact a bunch of half-assed measures that accomplish exactly zero of practical value except to exacerbate existing problems while making us feel that we did something. Which, of course, is exactly the sort of policymaking that got us in this situation in the first place.Report

  5. Avatar historystudent says:

    Very good comments, Jamelle.

    Sadly, that amendment proposing the bipartisan task force to reduce the budget was defeated. The vote was 53 to 46, seven votes short of the 60 needed. But note that it was an amendment to a bill that would extend the debt ceiling and borrow and additional $1.9 trillion. Also of note, the named lobby that opposed the amendment: AARP. The Beltway elites definitely include these powerful lobbies.

  6. Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

    The commie-dems control the gummint, they don’t require one recalcitrant Republican vote. Why don’t they ‘fix’ this mess in the ten months they have remaining?Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird says:

    They talk about this in Revelation.

    3:16, baby.

    Good essay.Report

  8. Avatar mike farmer says:

    I spew thee out of my mouth.Report