Simultaneous comprehensive error

Steve Benen: Current GOP officials aren’t just wrong about stimulus, the timing of budget cuts, taxes, debt reduction, or monetary policy — they’re wrong about all of them at the same time.

Steve Benen said it, summarizing an unusually clear-minded and un-post-modern Jackie Calmes story in the NYT:

Current GOP officials aren’t just wrong about stimulus, the timing of budget cuts, taxes, debt reduction, or monetary policy — they’re wrong about all of them at the same time.

It’s fair to note that even Calmes’s piece accepts as gospel two claims that seem to me transparently false: that cutting federal spending is generally a good idea and that raising marginal tax rates will stunt economic growth. But that’s just testimony to the extent to which Grover Norquist and his corporate sponsors have, by ceaselessly repeating falsehoods, converted them into received truths.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

4 thoughts on “Simultaneous comprehensive error”

  1. I wonder to what extent people actually believe it. Of course, it just makes sense to take people at their word. But I do wonder if people in a position to write news are that uneducated. Call me an optimist, I guess.

  2. The thought that occurred to me when I read that NYT article yesterday day was, “Why am I reading about this after the whole debt ceiling/downgrade debacle?”.

  3. “But Republicans in Congress and od the presidential campaign trail refuse to back down.”
    The one thing Republicans know, maybe it seems the only thing is NEVER BACK DOWN.

  4. I too noticed the two claims accepted as gospel. Here I think the problem is that reporters must cover the debate. Calmes want’s to make it clear that this debate isn’t Republicans vs Democrats but congressional Republicans vs everyone who has a clue. Unfortunately that means that the range of debate is from Cantor to Feldstein.

    Given the rules of journalism, I don’t see an solution to the problem — either the article is about how Democrats and Republicans disagree (ho hum) or opinions shared by all Republicans are presented without contradiction.

    This is a terrible problem. The ultra crazy wing of the Republican party doesn’t just make the anti-egalitarian but not crazy wing look reasonable, they make say Feldstein’s nonsense appear to bet the left wing of the plausible.

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