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He's my President and I support his idiotic policy preferences

Your Humble Blogger is just wondering, today, how many of the seventy million people who voted for Our Only President feel that he and his office are representing their feelings on the deficit and the economy, and how many feel he is more of a deficit hawk than they would prefer, and how many feel he is less.

The Party is, of course, divided between deficit pragmatists, who feel that deficit spending is one of many tools the federal government has for Getting Things Done, and those deficit idealists who don’t. I am, as y’all know by now, a deficit pragmatist, leaning toward the end of that spectrum that feels the actual costs of running high federal deficits are low, certainly when compared with other tools, and that we would be better off not worry about it. Left Blogovia is chock full of deficit pragmatists, these days, although it should be pointed out that with the Other Party talking so much shit these days about the deficit there is an understandable and largely laudable tribal instinct to reject the shit and talk sense. Still, the Party is, for the most part, led by people who seem to act as if a balanced budget is either an important priority or a pleasant goal—I can remember very few legislators speaking positively about increasing the deficit, even whilst pushing policies that have that effect.

The Other Party is, of course, against budgeting altogether, and has been for more than a generation, and the result of that is that when they get influence over policy we run larger deficits. And it is possible to wonder how many of the sixty million people who voted against Our Only President feel that their party is more or less where they are on this topic, but frankly I don’t care about that at the present time. I’m wondering about my own Party, which is mine, and which is in some sense negotiating for as trustees for me and people who think like me.

See, Our Only President again stated that he wants a lean government, which I emphatically do not. He is rhetorically positioning himself (for the moment) between the other Party’s rapaciousness and his own’s liberality; I wonder, however, to what extent he really is between, and to what extent he is plumb spang in the middle of a Party that I and Left Blogovia see from the edge.

I don’t think I would find my answer in polls that ask whether people are worried about the deficit, or feel that it’s a high priority, or any of that—I don’t think that polling on policy questions is very helpful generally, and certainly not on the deficit. And I don’t really know that it would show up as support for the President either in the general ratings or in approval for how he is handling the economy. I certainly wouldn’t tell a pollster at this point that I disapprove of how Our Only President is handling the economy, though I would have preferred it be handled more, well, more liberally. What I would want, really, is a specific question on the agree or disagree lines with I agree with the President about the relative importance of federal government revenues, spending and borrowing—but even then, I wouldn’t trust the answer. Still, I wonder.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


The Other Party is not against budgeting altogether--they are against paying any political price for implementing their unpopular policies. So they implement one half of their policy when they control the White House and can take credit for it--cutting taxes for the rich--and they implement the other half of their policy when they don't control the White House and won't have to pay (as much of a) political price for it--cutting public spending for everyone else.

I am in favor of deficit reduction and smaller government if that is understood to mean deficit reduction by raising taxes on the rich and making significant cuts to defense spending. Really, of course, I favor raising taxes on the rich and cutting defense spending as good policies in themselves, but if deficit reduction created the opportunity for doing so, I could live with that.

I am becoming convinced by punditry that the best way out of the recession would be to heavily increase infrastructure spending while increasing revenues by removing tax breaks and loopholes for corporations and the extremely wealthy. So that's not going to happen. Any other way out?


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