A.J. DiCintio
That old-time liberal religion, again
By A.J. DiCintio
May 6, 2013

"Fuss" fits the bill, and so does "commotion." But to take advantage of an opportunity to use a fantastic Yiddish term, I'll say it this way:

Betraying their devotion to liberal religion once again, the left is creating a big tsimmis regarding an admittedly embarrassing spreadsheet error found in research by Harvard economists Carmen Reinhard and Kenneth Rogoff, showing that countries with government debt over "roughly" 90 percent of GDP experience less growth than those with a lower debt/GDP ratio.

How big a tsimmis?

Well, so big that among the world's smartest, most open-minded financial and political observers, no less a giant than Stephen Colbert has poked fun at the two economists.

Just kidding, of course. . . except about the very big Hollywood business of hiding vacuity, arrogance, and a particularly reeking hypocrisy behind a laughing mouth or agonized face.

Seriously, then, a tsimmis so very big an Alaska-sized horde of liberal lemmings are now arguing that an indeterminate period of massive government borrowing and spending alone can create the miracle of raising to life a deathly ill nation such as Greece – yes, that Greece, the one poisoned by debt and being kept alive by a tangle of bailout tubes so madly convoluted it could have been twisted into being only by the ECB and IMF acting in concert with Ben Bernanke and Timothy Geithner.

Among the horde is economist Paul Krugman, who added to the din as he squawked from his perch at the NYT "against premature fiscal austerity" before adding this protestation about his common sense:

"Now, just to be clear, this is not a case for more government spending and larger budget deficits under all circumstances. . . By all means let's try to reduce deficits and bring down government indebtedness once normal conditions return. . ."

"Let's 'try,' indeed," we ought to respond in our best imitation of British sarcasm, because for liberals normal economic conditions are as rare as a sane Act of Congress.

For proof, consider that in 39 of the past 43 years, liberals have played not the ant that saves budget surpluses for hard times but the eternally profligate grasshopper whose appetite for spending is so ravenous it couldn't be satisfied by 16 trillion dollars of debt supplemented by more than 2 trillion dollars stolen and spent from the oxymoronically named ruse only a politician could title "Social Security Trust Fund."

The fact is, therefore, that while liberals represent themselves as paragons of rationality, they reflexively and irrationally bow to the failed religious dogmas that collectivists have been prettying up with the lipstick of science since the day Friedrich Engels formulated his "scientific" Marxist Red.

That fawning adherence to dogma explains why liberals fail to mention that Reinhard and Rogoff never said austerity alone could lift nations out of the current economic swamp but did warn (invoking Star Trek) of "Ultra-Keynesians" who, abandoning "any pretense about longer-term debt reduction," push governments "to go where no man has gone before."

It explains why liberals ignore scholars such as Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers (bloomberg.com) who set out to "referee" the "academic firestorm" and concluded as follows:

"The finding remains that economic growth is lower in very-high-debt countries. . . It has been disappointing to watch those on the left seize on the embarrassing Excel errors but ignore this bigger picture."

It explains why liberals shun a voice such as the independent thinking washingtonsblog.com, which makes this excellent observation:

". . . it is important to remember that neither stimulus nor austerity can ever work. . . unless and until the basic problems with the economy are fixed."

It explains why liberals never quote from or refer to "F.F. Wiley" and "Ginger Snap" of cyniconomics.com, who observe that those "with a predisposition toward loose fiscal policy" have attacked Reinhard and Rogoff with "a character assassination of remarkable force," thereby fouling a debate that ought to be about numbers with "a stench of hypocrisy and a strong whiff of political trickery."

It explains why liberals blow a hurricane of words about the suffering caused by austerity but say "nada" about the reality that much of the pain in Spain is not a "punishment" but the "consequence" (John Mauldin's terms) of nanny state work and wage rules that during the Spanish boom period produced an unemployment rate of 12%.

It explains why liberals say "niente" about the suffocating governmental bloat and red tape that in Italy has squeezed the life out not just out of the economy but the people.

It explains why, having "tipota" to say with respect to how the virulent virus called "social democracy" has brought Greece to its deathbed, America's liberals join EU leftists in blaming Germany for infecting its thoroughly corrupted neighbor to the south.

Finally, there is the dogma that demands a psychopathologic love of the merely human being recognized as the head of the Liberal Church, a canon liberals are congenitally wired to accept with complete devotion.

That perfectly mad love explains why liberals can rage about the need to borrow and spend "where no man has gone before" to right the economy while peeping not a peep about the objective reality that at Barack Obama's explicit direction, this administration has turned its back on policies that promote long-term economic expansion in favor of what Cam Hui (humblestudentofthe markets.blogspot.com) calls "financial manipulation" of the kind that enriches only big banks, big investors, big corporations, and big speculators, ordinary citizens be damned.

With that observation, which exemplifies how meticulously well the leader and congregation of that old-time liberal religion imbue every idea and act with the "stench of hypocrisy and strong whiff of political trickery," we have an excellent place to end.

© A.J. DiCintio


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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A.J. DiCintio

A.J. DiCintio posts regularly at RenewAmerica and YourNews.com. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.


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