Tuesday, March 10, 2009

If not now, when?

David Brooks today in his column, on Republicans, the economy, and spending:

"The Democratic response to the economic crisis has its problems, but let’s face it, the current Republican response is totally misguided. The House minority leader, John Boehner, has called for a federal spending freeze for the rest of the year. In other words, after a decade of profligacy, the Republicans have decided to demand a rigid fiscal straitjacket at the one moment in the past 70 years when it is completely inappropriate. The G.O.P. leaders have adopted a posture that allows the Democrats to make all the proposals while all the Republicans can say is “no.” They’ve apparently decided that it’s easier to repeat the familiar talking points than actually think through a response to the extraordinary crisis at hand."

Well, but what are Republicans to do? Are they to say that, because they made mistakes in the past and approved too much spending and deficits then, that therefore they are to give up a principle that even Brooks finds to be still valuable (sometimes, at least)? No. We'll get nowhere going in that direction, too.

Read the whole column--Brooks seems to be saying that Republicans should be spending activists and promoters of government intervention only in the short term, and can oppose longer-term spending profligacy. But what is that? If we don't think long-term spending is the way to go, how can we back massive short-term spending? Is that really so much better? I doubt it.