David Sirota Doesn’t Know Much About Government

by Brien Jackson

I need to diverisfy my whipping boy portfolio some, but Sirota is such an easy, gratifying target that it’s hard not to keep coming back to him. Here he is bemoaning the efforts of the Colorado legislature to balance their budget:

I’m really starting to believe that many politicians don’t know even the most basic stuff about economics. Here you have Republicans angry that in a recession, the state isn’t cutting enough and arguing that the state shouldn’t tap any of its rainy day funds, even though this is the biggest of the rainy days. Did we learn nothing from when FDR tried to balance the budget in ’37 and ’38, effectively stunting the New Deal’s robust recovery? Have these people not bothered to take Econ 101?

What’s sort of funnyis that he’s not wrong at all about the economics of the matter. Expansioary policy means more spending and larger deficits in the short run. He is, however, totally oblivious to something I figured you have to be aware of to comment on politics; almost every state has a balanced budget requirement. Indeed, I’m pretty sure Vermont is the only state that doesn’t. That’s why we’re talking about the need for the federal government to help state governments out; to offset lost revenues so that state governments don’t have to cut spending. If they could run sustained deficits like the federal government, they wouldn’t necessarily need the extra money to maintain those levels of spending on state services.

It’s really beyond me how you can feel qualified to spout off on the political issues of the day if you don’t know something that basic. Let alone fancy yourself some sort of spokesman for the entire progressive movement.

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