Uncle Judea, Melanin, Genetics, and Educational Attainment...

The last time that a Republican voted for a live and possible deficit-reduction package—a combination of spending cuts and tax increases relative to baseline that might attract legislative majorities—was 1990. Since then Republicans have voted for spending cuts and spending increases. And they have voted for tax cuts for the rich. Deficit reduction? Nope. Alice Rivlin is in the position of the person who goes out in the night on December 31, 999 firmly expecting the Messiah, when nothing happens says "I must have miscounted: it will happen next year", and keeps it up. Well, it is now 1027. 28 such non-appearances, soon to be 29. And she still has firm faith that the Republican Budget Messiah will arrive next year, if not this one: Brendan Greeley: Goodbye to Sunday morning economics: "Whenever Alice Rivlin speaks in public it feels like a tent revival...

...We'd only get real deficit reduction if both parties work at it. Tell it Alice! Both parties! It was going to hurt, she said. Oh it will hurt, we sang at our tables, and we paid for that hurt with our sins! Washington is always in a Sunday-morning mood when Ms Rivlin speaks. She reminds us that we are fallen. We feel the cleansing heat of our own shame. We vow to redeem ourselves through our good works. We then step outside for coffee and networking. The problem with Sunday morning, both in church and in Washington, is the rest of the week: we promise to sin no more, then we go raise hell. Rivlin revivals don't ever make Washington better, but they do make Washington feel better. And so we're relieved that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a charismatic Democrat with an economics degree who is likely to become the next representative for New York's 14th District, is bringing modern monetary theory to Washington. We would not describe Alphaville as a modern monetarist publication, but we do admire the movement's honesty....

We find the modern monetarists appealing because they don't ever go to budget church. They do not sing at the Rivlin revivals. This doesn't make them sinners. It makes them honest. They're willing to examine the practical limits of government spending, rather than a theoretical ideal. And they're willing to describe fiscal policy as Washington actually pursues it...


#shouldread

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