by Ari Rutenberg
Holy crap! The winds of change have truly arrived. Mort Kondracke is calling for Keynesian economic policy, which means using government spending to create infrastructure programs, and thus jobs for the working class. It's kind of like the Pope calling for a "temporary secularization" of the Catholic Church. It is heresy from the one of the high-priests of tax cuts.
OK, OK...Kondracke is actually relatively moderate in terms of fiscal policy. He is more against government spending than forirresponsible and unending tax cuts. However he is still generally right-of-center, and is constantly on Fox News with Brit "Jowely McJowels" Hume and Fred "I want to fuck Sarah Palin" Barnes taking hackery for the masses to new and unknown places. But he seems to be making sense this time. And that in itself is a sign of the massive political realignment that is happening all over the country.
What can I say? I love it... but I doubt it will last. Can anyone really see this guy calling for more social housing to get homeless people off the street or advocating a Carbon tax on large corporations? No? Well me neither.
Welcome back to the reality-based community, Mort, even if you're just stopping by to say hi.
From Roll Call (behind paywall), via RealClearPolitics:
An emerging consensus among conservative and liberal economists
seems to indicate that we'll experience negative growth - 2 percent to
4 percent-through 2009 and into 2010.
And unemployment will rise past 10 percent...As to what to do, former Clinton White House domestic policy adviser
William Galston, now at the Brookings Institution, observed that "this
is a classic Keynesian moment," and he pointed to a remarkable exchange
that took place on PBS' "Newshour with Jim Lehrer" on Monday.
Liberal economist Alan Blinder of Princeton, an adviser to both Bill
Clinton and President-elect Barack Obama, and conservative Martin
Feldstein of Harvard, an adviser to former President Ronald Reagan and
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), agreed: There's got to be a lot of
"You need to boost spending in the economy," Blinder said. "It
almost doesn't matter what kind of spending, but we'd like it to not to
be wasteful spending, something that's valuable in its own right."
He added that the government also needed to support "people that are
going to be losing their jobs, their homes, their health care benefits
and other things that go with job displacement, because there's going
to be a lot of it."
And Feldstein responded: "Well, I think Alan Blinder was right on. I
think the plan has to be big, it has to be quick and it has to be
focused on creating employment."...Feldstein - this is the conservative, mind you - said that the extra
spending plan ought to be $300 billion for 2009 and $500 billion over
the next two years, above and beyond the $700 billion already committed
to the rescue of financial institutions...And, a bailout for GM? Like AIG, the auto industry probably is too
big to fail - it would send an additional 3 million workers onto
unemployment lines - but the domestic industry needs to be
Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein has come up with the idea of a "pre-arranged bankruptcy."
That would involve promises of federal aid along with a federal
takeover of the companies' pension obligations, renegotiation of union
and dealer contracts. Creditors would take a loss, stockholders would
be wiped out, and management would be replaced.
It's an emergency we face, no question. But soon-to-be White House
Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had it right when he said, "No crisis
should be allowed to go to waste." Let's hope he and his boss manage
this one well - better, in fact, than FDR."