More Media Economics

Ruth Marcus, taking her cues from David Broder writing in the Washington Post:

There is a lemonade-from-lemons aspect to this state of affairs. It could give the next president more maneuvering room to extricate himself from unaffordable campaign promises and to build political consensus for painful but necessary budgetary choices.

What better moment to change course than when only 8 percent believe the country is on the right track?

Well, just about anytime really. You don’t ever want to contract federal spending on the cusp of a recession. Household and local government spending contracting is bad enough, if the federal government cuts back on top of it you’ve got no one left to prop up domestic spending. It is regrettable that we have to undertake a certain amount of deficit spending on top of the massive amounts of debt the Bush administration needlessly incurred, but this isn’t frivilous stuff. If the next President listens to David Broder, Tom Brokaw, Jim Lehrer, Ruth Marcus, and however many others in media have jumped on to this tire swing, the coming recession will be much longer, deeper, and more painful for Americans.

And, increasingly, I can’t help but wonder if that’s sort of the point. If maybe, in the minds of Ruth Marcus and David Broder and other elite media figures, we don’t need a deep recession to teach us a lesson (that it would give them a big event to write about every week would be an added bonus I suppose). After all, it’s not like they’re going to lose their jobs, so they’ve got the ability to argue for “virtue” over good public policy. Most people aren’t that lucky, and they need stimulus. Quickly.