Microclimates Are Evil
First Draft of September 1 Principles of Economics Lecture: Depression Economics

Matt Bai's Incompetence is a Reason to Shut the New York Times Down Now and Let the Good Journalists Get Picked Up by Other Outlets

Tim Fernholz:

But It's Awesome Broccoli for the Rich!: Matt Bai writes about the Paul Ryan's budget plan ... without writing about Paul Ryan's budget plan:

“He’s not saying the world’s going to be full of butterscotch sundaes,” is how [former Republican Florida Governor] Jeb Bush described the plan to me recently. “He’s saying: ‘Eat your broccoli. And then maybe you don’t get to eat at all for a few days. You don’t get steak — ever.’”

Unless, of course, you're wealthy, because the plan cuts upper-income tax brackets by 10 percent, so that "households with incomes of more than $1 million would receive an average annual tax cut of $502,000, and the richest one-tenth of 1 percent of Americans would receive an average tax cut of $1.7 million a year. Meanwhile, everyone making under $100,000 will see their taxes increased, on average by $2,000. What that says to me is that the rich get steak, and the poor probably don't get to eat at all for a few days. People complain about Bai's failure to use research in his work, but letting Bush describe the plan that way without, apparently, checking into the numbers at all is a bit of professional malpractice.

On Twitter, Matt Yglesias already noted the hilarity of this line: "Let’s leave aside for now the debate over the viability of the road map, which, as a practical matter, doesn’t stand a chance of being enacted as is, anyway." Bai leaves the actual substance of the framework aside to muse about whether Ryan will be a good negotiating partner for President Obama next year.... You'd think whether or not his vision is a viable one would have something to do with that.

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?