Clive Crook on Our Great Debate

He has a very good column in Bloomberg. Here’s a summary of our current political situation:

America reminds me of a broken marriage. The spouses fight over everything on principle. There’s no such thing as a trivial disagreement. They fight over whether to set the thermostat at 72 or 76. They could compromise on 74, but they know temperature’s not the real issue. The same goes for balancing the checkbook and loading the dishwasher. Deeper questions about the purpose of the marriage and the history of all previous grievances need to be confronted every time an empty milk carton is put back in the fridge.

Rather than solving our immediate problems, which include getting the economy going and getting companies to hire we get comparisons to Greece and imminent visions of the apocalypse. Here’s sarcasm, properly applied:

In the battle of big ideas, the Democrats stand for justice. Justice comes first, so they might have to take a chance with the recovery. The Republicans’ big idea is freedom. You don’t trade freedom for temporary stimulus and sound public finance.

Well, let’s debate this by all means. What fun. I’m as excited as the next guy that this election will finally bring closure on balancing freedom and justice. I just wish in the meantime we could have a recovery that isn’t crushed by short- term spending cuts and tax increases, and a long-term public debt profile that doesn’t lead to ruin.


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