The Question of Government

Jim, thanks for the summary of the Time columns. I hadn’t realized Zakaria landed there when he left Newsweek in their upheaval. I didn’t always agree with him (though did more often than not) and he was always interesting. I’ve never read Klein much. I’m a bit confused on your point. You write “When I put the parts of these two columns side by side, I do not read them as one is right, the other is wrong…” You quote from Zakaria on China, and from the Klein column you just quote questions he asks. I’m missing the connection, or how he is saying, since it is just a list of questions, something in contrast to Zakaria.I agree that we need to manage our fiscal policy with serious prudence and efficiency. And I think we need to look at everything. I’m always puzzled by those on the right who decry all government spending and waste, and yet were in complete support of the Iraq fiasco, including the loss, early on in the war, of a couple pallets of cash in the tens of billions of dollars.
There is a lot that can be done to make Medicare better and more efficient to save money (the Times has had a few good columns in the last couple months). You seem to think I just want to spend spend spend without any thought, though I have never said that. I think we need to spend wisely.
You and Zakaria are right about the stimulus in China and the US. I think one of the biggest political mistakes the Obama administration has made in its first three years was overselling the stimulus as though it were big enough to get us out of the recession. As many economists have shown (including Krugman and Baker), the stimulus did exactly what it was designed to do–it created around two million jobs. Obama’s mistake was in pretending that was enough, when we really needed about 15 million jobs. He should have sold it to the public as the partial solution it was, and made clear he wanted it to be bigger and was blocked by the Republicans.
Comedians also have a lot to lose with Romney. He’s just too boring. Now a Newt presidency! The late night guys would have a field day.

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About JP

We're two guys who met in college, in 1980. We've stayed in touch, and like to talk politics, current events, music and religion. JP is nore liberal than Sid, but not in every way. We figure that dialogue stimulates ideas, moderates perspective, and is in general friendly. These are things we need badly in these dangerous times. The blog name is taken from a song by Bruce Cockburn.
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