Putting the “Dismal” Back in “Dismal Science”

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on April 19, 2012

I suppose that when an administration is confronted with 8.2% unemployment (with the very real prospect that it may go higher giving Team Obama nightmares), and slow growth, it has to try to find ways to add more than a touch of demagoguery to any discussion of the economy so as to distract from the real economic issues facing us.

As a consequence, the incumbent president of the United States, his governing team, and his campaign team have been busy trying to convince all of us that our economic ship would be righted if only we would be wise enough to pass the Buffett Rule. Said rule would add, at most, only about $5 billion to the Treasury’s coffers each year if implemented, and is crafted to ensure that the likes of Warren Buffett will continue to pay tremendously low taxes, even while misleading people into believing that Buffett and other hyper-rich folks will have their taxes significantly increased. In a just world, everyone would know enough to laugh the Buffett Rule and those who advocate it out of any discussion that actual grown-ups are involved in. Alas, as I am so often reminded, we do not live in a just world.

Not content with attempting to pass off advocacy of the Buffett Rule as serious economic policymaking, the administration has decided that the best way to show that President Obama is serious about combating high gas prices is to denounce–wait for it!speculation. This joke of an explanation for high gas prices never made sense in the past, and its power to enlighten and illuminate has not increased with time. David Harsanyi has more on why this dog won’t hunt the president’s explanation should not be taken seriously.

I realize that it is an election year, and that as a consequence, we are going to be exposed to a fair amount of gimmickry. But can’t the president, his administration, and his campaign organization go through a couple of days without insulting our intelligence?

That’s all I ask–for starters. Maybe eventually, we can get Team Obama to go a whole week before it stops being intellectually serious about the issues of the day. But for now, can’t they just try to act like adults for a few days? I mean, throw us a bone give us a break, guys.

Previous post:

Next post: