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January 10, 2013 11:26 AM Megan McArdle Says The Thing That Is

By Mark Kleiman

Precisely:

Mere words can hardly convey the preposterousness of the debt ceiling. It is a stupid artifact of legislation that was hastily passed in the World War I era, and it creates a paradox at the heart of our budget politics: the law of the land commands the government to spend more than it takes in in tax revenue, and also, forbids the Treasury to borrow the necessary money.
[snip]
When I was reporting on Wall Street, I used to be told with some regularity that government was needed to counteract the short-term thinking of the business sector, who never thought much beyond the next quarterly earnings report. This now seems as quaintly adorable as picture hats and daily milk deliveries. An ADHD day trader with a cocaine habit and six months to live has considerably more long-term planning skills than our current congress.

Like other anti-Coiners, Megan doesn’t address the question of what the President is supposed to do if the Congress orders him to spend money it forbids him to raise, but she’s right to say that the Coin idea is a vicious satire on our current political situation, as created by the clownshow calling itself the House Republican Conference, with assistance from Grover Norquist, the Brothers Koch, and most of Red Blogistan. Which, for some of us, is the main point.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-based Community]

Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the University of California Los Angeles.

Comments

  • Roger Keeling on January 10, 2013 4:09 PM:

    I don't often agree with Megan McArdle. Generally don't like her writing. But I must say that this line,

    "An ADHD day trader with a cocaine habit and six months to live has considerably more long-term planning skills than our current congress."

    may be one of the funniest lines I've read in the last year or two. Scary, too, since it may exaggerate only a little.

  • Snarki, child of Loki on January 11, 2013 8:44 AM:

    That IS a funny line. But unfortunately she wrote it too soon, or she could have put in something about "less popular than a bad case of head lice".

    What the hell is a "picture hat"? If the idea was to invoke something old-timey and somewhat missed, a snap-brim fedora would have been better.

    You can still get daily milk deliveries in some (lucky) areas...