Dear Dr. Bones,
If we broaden our notion of "serious discussion of economics" to include a purely qualitative scribbler in the path of Party and Ideology like Prof. Dr. Douthat of the New York Time Company, won't the eventual mess be at least a little bit our fault too?
Meanwhile, I cannot believe in "Douthat Makes it Up" -- that Don Rossito concocted this morning’s tripe and bologna all by himself. From the internal evidence it looks as if some scamster who actually understood her scam handed the little laddie a set of talkin’ points in favor of it that was beyond him. Still, ¿maybe I am the dunce? Let's see:
The crux of the underlying racket must, I think, be located in the sentence that reads
|"By 2035, under the C.B.O. projection, payroll and income taxes would claim 25 percent of that family’s paycheck."|
I don't think Don Rossito stopped to ask himself what the CBO was projecting when it projected that. I do ask myself, and then answer "price inflation" or call it "what a 2011 dollar will be worth two dozen years from now." If you think that is radically wrong, Dr. Bones, please disregard the following.
My conjectural neoconperson will have understood that what we have here is so-called "bracket creep," a technical business easy to index against. So easy that I suspect the CBO probably *did* make the adjustment, but the scamster preferred not to notice. Left completely in the dark, the NYTC customer could easily guess that real tax-rate increases are involved -- which just goes to prove what relentless thieves we Democrats are, don't you know?
By Heritagitarian and AEIdeological standards, that is a straightforward snow job. Most persons able to profit from "Beat the Press" could probably write it up reasonably misleadin'ly, assuming they believed in the Selfservative Cause -- or were funded vigotrously enough to make lying attractive. But the way Señorito de Doúthat writes it up, it does not mislead, it just sits there and sogs, apart from the laughable phrase "such unprecedented levels of taxation," which may have been in whatever document he was handed to work from.
Instead of adding literary polish and agitation-propaganda pizazz to his talkin’ points, Don Rossito swallows them whole himself, it looks like, and then works them into the fabric of his own pet castle in the air, which is enough like the late M. de Disraëli's "Tory Democracy" to allow me to label it so. The trouble is, I fear, that very few whightists other than the señorito itself are interested in that product line.[*]
[*] Also unfortunate is that few of the proposed beneficiaries of Douthatian Neodizziiness read _The New York Times_ much even before the gates recently went up around that e-community. All those Blacks and Tans who -- as Don Rossito sincerely believes -- wouldabeen, shouldabeen full-fledged members of The Middle Class (Pat. Pend.) by 2035 but won't be if Keynes and Krugman and Baker prevail are never going to learn that Dr. Douthat champions their cause. They may even never learn that such a neocause once existed.
Not only do I find myself disagreeing with his employers about Douthat's intellectual merit, I do not think he can be pronounced entirely serious about his own most characteristic stuff. Doubtless he *believes* in Douthatian Neodizziness with perfect subjective sincerity, but, for all that, it is rather a good game for him to talk than one to actually buckle down and play.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the laddie’s Party and Ideology are full of good folks who do not themselves entertain any such sentimentality, but can work out that lettin’ him go on in that vein could be profitable for their own private schemes of neoglory. The real movers and shakers at Hooverville and Wingnut City have every reason, it seems to me, to welcome Douthatian Neodizziness on a strict "jam tomorrow" basis -- a "Free Enterprise System" that is always goin’ta blossom out into full-fledged Tory Democracy twenty years in the future is whight up their alley.
If that alley were suddenly to fill up with Bad Poor who have heard this good talk and might do something rash with their pitchforks if too many vicennalia pass with no sign of the _Novus Ordo Sæclorum_, mainstream Hoovervillains could find themselves in something like the difficulties of the Sorcerer's Apprentice. With Don Rossito de Doúthat, though, I daresay they are safe enough: the ’prentice lad is not actually *utterin’* any broomstick spells, he is only, as it were, muttering them to himself _sotto voce_.
Unless you alarm very easily, nothing the least bit alarming is likely to come of that.