Thursday, October 16, 2008
The End of ReaganomicsJacob Hacker, writing at The New Republic:
...I think it's time to recognize that Obama has done something more profound in this cycle than simply run a smart campaign; he is showing that the old Republican strategy on economic policy of calling for tax cuts and criticizing government, while thowing mud in every other area, has real limits when the other side directly confronts it with arguments for "investment" and more carefully targeted tax policies.Obama has had the courage to make these arguments because he actually cares enough to understand what needs to be done. McCain really doesn't give a crap about the economy - he is only interested in foreign policy and the military.
His economic policy is a bag of gimmicks his staff cooked up, and he really doesn't understand what Obama has proposed (the look on his face last night when Obama corrected him about the health insurance fine was one telling indication of his ignorance).
To Obama's great credit, he believes in himself, and in us, enough to offer potentially complex arguments for smarter policies. For almost 30 years, Republicans have thrived on voodoo economics, and have rolled the Democrats again and again with simple-minded rhetoric about "tax-and-spend liberals" and "supply-side economics."
Even Bill Clinton, for all his talents, could not change the game. After 8 years, the country went right back to Republican tax cuts for the rich, with all the delusions, speculation, deregulation and mismanagement that have become the recognizable features of the Republican free market religion.
Finally, we have a leader who can call the voodoo by its true name. This is the first step to fixing what is broken, and it is truly a leap forward.
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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