Ross Douthat … I really don’t know what to do with you. You aren’t as batshit as your other conservative opinionators like George Will or Krauthammer, no as abjectly dull as a David Brooks … you buy into ‘data’ and the situation as it stands, castigate your conservative brethren for their batshit logic and solutions … but then come up with your own inaccurate, though not batshit, reasoning of your own to justify the conservative ends
example in today’s NYT column
OVER the last 30 years, the U.S. economy has generated more large fortunes and more stress for the middle class. While the rich have grown extraordinarily rich, median wages have barely increased, the costs of health care and higher education have jumped, and socioeconomic mobility has lagged behind that of other developed nations. Americans have never begrudged the wealthy their success, as long as they had a chance to rise higher than their parents, and perhaps get rich themselves. But our era of diminished expectations is putting that in doubt.
Good, he acknowledges the problem … as opposed to the usual “this is all BS the liberals made up” But then he backtracks to this crap,
The story of the last three decades, in other words, is not the story of a benevolent government starved of funds by selfish rich people and fanatical Republicans. It’s a story of a public sector that has consistently done less with more, and a liberalism that has often defended the interests of narrow constituencies — public-employee unions, affluent seniors, the education bureaucracy — rather than the broader middle class.
Oh Christ, here we go … government bad, unions bad, seniors greedy … got it
The alternative to this liberalism should not, however, be the kind of reverse class warfare currently being championed by the not-Romney candidates in the Republican field, whose flat-tax fantasies would ask working Americans to bear more of the burden for public institutions that have been failing them for years.
So, we shouldn’t have these regressive flat-taxes because our government is inefficient. K. Would it be OK if the government was efficient?
Rather, it should be a kind of small-government egalitarianism, which would seek to reform the government before we pour more money into it, along lines that encourage upward mobility and benefit the middle class. This would mean seeking a carefully means-tested welfare state, a less special interest-friendly tax code, and a public sector that worked for taxpayers and parents rather than the other way around.
An now he’s back to a bland, middle of the road sounding proposal. There’s a lot of devils in the details of “means-tested welfare state” and “less special interest-friendly tax code” however
Ross, Ross, Ross … whatever am I to do with you